• Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by first logging in then clicking here: Upgrades

3rd floor apartment with emergency egress that goes into / through another occupied apartment. Is that safe or allowed?


Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
Columbus, OH.
Is the door leading to the 2nd floor unit a safety issue and can I / should I get rid of it? **I assume the door meets fire code but does it meet building / safety code?
I manage a building that consists of five 1 bed apartments (2 on first floor, 2 on second floor and 1 on the third floor). Built in 1901.
The 3rd floor unit has one door leading to a wooden deck / stairway on back of the building which is the only real way to get in and out. There is a large casement window in the bedroom that I believe meets requirements for emergency fire egress (5.7 sqft, less than 44" off floor). In addition, there is a door leading down a set of steps (inside the building) and it dead ends at a door with a lever that says (push to open in emergency, alarm will sound). This door enters the 2nd floor apartment and from there the common entry / stairwell can be accessed. If I were living in the 2nd floor unit I'd have concerns that 3rd floor could walk in any time they choose if they were able to disable the alarm. There is no sprinkler system but with the window in the bedroom as a second emergency egress would it be allowable to eliminate the door going into the 2nd floor apartment?


Sawhorse 123
Oct 19, 2009
Sounds like a legacy fix that someone conjured up. Not legal by today's standards.

Does the one bedroom 3rd floor unit require two exits ??

or Does the one exterior exit from the 3rd floor unit meet code?


Oct 18, 2009
Phoenix, AZ
Referencing the 2018 IBC, Table 1006.3.3(1) would allow a third-story single exit if an emergency escape and rescue opening is provided in the sleeping room.
  • Like
Reactions: cda