Knowledgebase-NFPA Rules Governing Exits from Existing Business Occupancies

Information Product

Title:NFPA Rules Governing Exits from Existing Business Occupancies
Summary:MTAS was asked to clarify the NFPA Rules governing exits from existing business occupancies, such as city and town halls.
Original Author:Hemsley, Sid
Product Create Date:04/30/97
Last Reviewed on::05/23/2017
Subject:City halls; Fire--Codes
Type:Legal Opinion
Legal Opinion:

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: April 30, 1997

Here are the NFPA Rules governing exits from existing business occupancies. Under NFPA 101: 4-1.8, city and town halls are business occupancies. Note also that under NFPA 101: 4-1.0, “Minor storage incidental to another occupancy shall be treated as part of the predominant occupancy.” From you description of the storage area, it is qualifies as minor storage.

However, because the city hall is also used by what is essentially a private group, you may have a mixed occupancy under NFPA 101:4.1.11, depending upon the extent and nature of the use. In that case we may have to go further to determine the exit requirements for that use.

The egress requirements are contained in NFPA 101:27-2, the arrangement of the means of egress are contained in NFPA 101:27-2.5, and the travel distance to exists are contained in NFPA 101:27-2.6.


Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant


Please remember that these legal opinions were written based on the facts of a given city at a certain time. The laws referenced in any opinion may have changed or may not be applicable to your city or circumstances.

Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.