Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 6892 (October 30, 2021).

Pennsylvania Code



CHAPTER 56. DIVISION C-3 SMALL GROUP HABITATION

OCCUPANCY GROUP

Sec.


56.1.    Division C-3 occupancy.
56.2.    Separation and mixed occupancy.
56.3.    Hazards.

CONSTRUCTION TYPE—MAXIMUM STORY HEIGHT


56.11.    Story height.

MEANS OF EGRESS


56.21.    Minimum exits.
56.23.    Means of egress capacity.
56.24.    Exit doors.
56.25.    Stair towers.
56.26.    Intercommunicating stairways.
56.27.    Ramps.
56.28.    Horizontal exits.
56.29.    Escalators.

VERTICAL OPENINGS


56.31.    Vertical openings.

INTERIOR FINISH


56.41.    Interior finishes.

MANUAL AND AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS


56.51.    Not required.
56.52.    Required.

EMERGENCY LIGHTING SYSTEMS


56.61.    Not required.

EXTINGUISHERS


56.71.    Fire extinguishers.
56.72.    Cooking areas.
56.73.    Combination.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS


56.81.    Flammable liquids.
56.82.    Small personal care homes.

Authority

   The provisions of this Chapter 56 issued under act of April 27, 1927 (P. L. 465, No. 299) (35 P. S. § §  1221—1235), unless otherwise noted.

Source

   The provisions of this Chapter 56 adopted May 18, 1984, effective May 19, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 1765, unless otherwise noted.

Cross References

   This chapter cited in 6 Pa. Code §  21.30 (relating to special program and recertification standards for domiciliary care homes with four or more clients); 7 Pa. Code §  82.17 (relating to safety—fire prevention and egress); 7 Pa. Code §  139.42 (relating to structures); 12 Pa. Code §  145.35 (relating to applicability of Fire and Panic Act); 22 Pa. Code §  31.43 (relating to buildings and equipment); 34 Pa. Code §  11.85 (relating to applicable provisions of other regulations); 34 Pa. Code §  47.125 (relating to stairs); 34 Pa. Code §  49.1 (relating to definitions); 34 Pa. Code §  49.2 (relating to jurisdiction and effective dates); 34 Pa. Code §  49.3 (relating to submission of plans); 34 Pa. Code §  49.5 (relating to certification of plans); 34 Pa. Code §  49.8 (relating to fees for building-plan examinations); 34 Pa. Code §  49.9 (relating to field inspection); 34 Pa. Code §  49.12 (relating to notice of violation and order to correct); 34 Pa. Code §  50.1 (relating to occupancy groups); 34 Pa. Code §  50.21 (relating to definitions); 34 Pa. Code §  50.24 (relating to exit doors and exit access doors); 34 Pa. Code §  50.92 (relating to historic building); 34 Pa. Code §  60.8 (relating to field inspection); 34 Pa. Code §  60.33 (relating to buildings); 55 Pa. Code §  5200.47 (relating to other applicable regulations); 55 Pa. Code §  5210.56 (relating to other applicable regulations); and 55 Pa. Code §  5320.54 (relating to seclusion and restraints).

OCCUPANCY GROUP


§ 56.1. Division C-3 occupancy.

 This division shall apply to a building which only has one living unit where four through eight residents are in group habitation. Small personal care homes, dormitories, lodging houses, orphanages, group homes, group foster homes and the like with four through eight residents shall be in this classification.

§ 56.2. Separation and mixed occupancy.

 When a C-3 occupancy shares a structure with one or more occupancies, the structure shall be governed in one of the following manners:

   (1)  Separation. When each occupancy is separated from other occupancies by fire walls, each portion thus separated shall be considered a separate building and limitations for separate buildings shall govern.

   (2)  Mixed occupancy. Buildings with multiple occupancies which are not separated shall be considered mixed occupancies and shall be governed by the most restrictive limitations of the various occupancies.

§ 56.3. Hazards.

 D-H, hazardous occupancies may not be permitted in the same structure housing a C-3 occupancy.

CONSTRUCTION TYPE—MAXIMUM STORY HEIGHT


§ 56.11. Story height.

 Fireresistive, noncombustible, protected heavy timber, ordinary or frame construction may be used.

   (1)  Residents of C-3 occupancies shall be limited to floor levels not more than two stories above exit discharge except that residents of small personal care homes shall be limited to floor levels not more than one story above exit discharge.

   (2)  Owners or operators may occupy any level.

MEANS OF EGRESS


§ 56.21. Minimum exits.

 (a)  For buildings with up to and including two stories, a minimum of one exit from each floor kept free from obstructions shall be provided.

 (b)  For buildings, in excess of two stories in height, a minimum of two exits from each floor kept free from obstructions shall be required. At least 50% of required exits shall be exit discharge doors to the outside, stair towers, or ramps.

   (1)  Basements used only for storage or mechanical equipment without permanent occupancy shall have a minimum of two exit access paths except that the Department may permit a single exit access for basements of less than 1,000 square feet used only for storage or mechanical equipment without permanent occupancy.

   (2)  Mezzanine levels shall have a minimum of two exit access paths except that the Department may permit a single exit access from mezzanines less than 1,000 square feet or mezzanines used exclusively for storage or mechanical equipment without a permanent occupancy.

§ 56.23. Means of egress capacity.

 Units of width shall comply with §  50.23 (relating to means of egress capacity).

§ 56.24. Exit doors.

 Exit discharge doors leading to the outside shall comply with §  50.24(f) and (g) (relating to exit doors and exit access doors).

§ 56.25. Stair towers.

 Stair towers shall comply with §  50.25 (relating to stair towers).

§ 56.26. Intercommunicating stairways.

 Intercommunicating stairways shall comply with §  50.26 (relating to intercommunicating stairways).

§ 56.27. Ramps.

 Ramps shall comply with §  50.27 (relating to ramps).

§ 56.28. Horizontal exits.

 Horizontal exits shall comply with §  50.28 (relating to horizontal exits).

§ 56.29. Escalators.

 Escalators shall be permitted for communication from one story to another but shall not be counted as exits.

VERTICAL OPENINGS


§ 56.31. Vertical openings.

 In buildings which require more than one means of egress, at least one of the required means of egress shall be a stair tower of 1-hour construction with C label fire door assemblies except that an exterior stair may be used in lieu of a stair tower.

INTERIOR FINISH


§ 56.41. Interior finishes.

 There are no requirements for interior finishes.

MANUAL AND AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS


§ 56.51. Not required.

 Manual fire alarm systems are not required for C-3 occupancies.

§ 56.52. Required.

 An automatic fire alarm system shall be installed in all facilities.

   (1)  Detection Devices shall be listed as meeting U. L. 217, 1980 Edition. A minimum of one automatic detection device shall be provided on each floor including basement. One automatic detection device shall be located in a common area such as a hall, corridor, or similar area. A detection device shall be located at the top or bottom of each stair. This device may satisfy the requirement for a minimum of one detection device on each floor. See Diagram A for suggested locations of detection devices.

Diagram A

DIAGRAM A


   (2)  The top of wall mounted detection devices shall be 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling.

   (3)  Ceiling mounted detection devices shall be located close to the center of the common area, but in no case closer than 6 inches from the wall.

   (4)  An automatic detection device shall be located outside each sleeping room or area. See Diagram B for suggested locations of detection devices.

Diagram B

   (5)  The automatic detection devices shall be interconnected so all alarm devices sound if any is activated.

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  49.2 (relating to jurisdiction and effective dates).

EMERGENCY LIGHTING SYSTEMS


§ 56.61. Not required.

 There are no requirements for emergency lighting systems.

EXTINGUISHERS


§ 56.71. Fire extinguishers.

 A minimum of one fire extinguisher with a minimum 2-A rating shall be provided for each 3,000 square feet, but in no case shall there be less than one fire extinguisher per floor including basement.

§ 56.72. Cooking areas.

 A fire extinguisher with a minimum 10-B rating shall be provided in each kitchen or cooking area.

§ 56.73. Combination.

 A combination fire extinguisher unit which satisfies the 2-A and 10-B minimum requirements may be used in place of multiple units.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS


§ 56.81. Flammable liquids.

 The storage of flammable liquids or the use of portable devices for heating or light which use flammable liquids is prohibited. For purposes of this section, flammable liquids is defined as gasoline, kerosene or similar liquids.

§ 56.82. Small personal care homes.

 (a)  Small personal care homes are approved and licensed by the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth.

 (b)  Fire drills and evacuation plans shall be required.

   (1)  Fire drills shall be conducted monthly. A written log shall be kept listing the time and date of all fire drills.

   (2)  Employes shall be trained in the use of fire extinguishers and evacuation methods.

   (3)  Facilities shall have a evacuation plan, and residents and employes shall be made aware of this plan by the owner.



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.


This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.