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Exiting a stage past the stage curtain allowed?

GoGoGadget

Registered User
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
11
Location
San Diego, CA
Doing an egress analysis for an existing stage at an elementary school which has an occupant load of 45, requiring only one exit per chapter 10. The exit from the stage would be the main stairs leading up to it from the audience side. If the existing flame-retardant stage curtain were to be closed, could this main stage stairway still be considered an adequate exit/ egress route? Occupants would have to go past the closed curtain to access the stairs and there is no breakaway safety feature on the existing curtain. Is this allowable?
 

fatboy

Administrator
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
6,406
Location
Northern CO
I would not allow it.


2018 IBC 1022.2

Means of egress doors shall be readily distinguishable
from the adjacent construction and finishes such that the
doors are easily recognizable as doors.
Mirrors or similar
reflecting materials shall not be used on means of egress
doors. Means of egress doors shall not be concealed by curtains,
drapes, decorations or similar materials.
 

bill1952

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
294
Location
Clayton NY
Having designed a 100 or so theatres, and being on the NFPA assembly occupancy committee since 1987, no, it's not ok.

And the curtains sometimes hung in doors in theatres, also not ok.
 

GoGoGadget

Registered User
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
11
Location
San Diego, CA
Thank you for your response. I had also seen that section of code but I interpreted it to mean that an egress door can’t be disguised or hidden by a curtain hanging directly over the door. In this scenario, occupants of the performance stage would need to navigate beyond the stage curtain (if it happens to be closed while the stage is occupied), and descend the stairs at the front of the stage which lead into an open auditorium room. From that point, there are 3 visible exit doors nearby that all lead outside. With your logic referenced above, I could argue that a medical curtain often seen in shared patient rooms or health centers, drawn around patient exam tables, would also create a visibility barrier to the exam room exit door and wouldn’t be allowed either. Thoughts?
 
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