Exit Stairs During Construction

As outlined in the MA Fire Code Update Insights Post, we highlighted that the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations approved a new edition of 527 1.00 CMR, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code. This took effect on December 9, 2022. Consequently, code users must now refer to the 2022 Edition of NFPA 241 for construction fire safety requirements. Significant code changes, which will affect pricing, scheduling, and risk mitigation, will be discussed in this and subsequent Insights posts.

The new applicable edition requires that at least half of the required exit stairs must always be available (Section In contrast previous editions only required at least one stair be provided (2013 NFPA 241 Section This change notably affects buildings with three (3) or more stairs. In addition, the stairway must be enclosed once the building exterior walls are in place (Section Local AHJ requirements and building layouts may warrant additional stairs be provided or earlier enclosure of stairs to allow for appropriate emergency egress and fire department operations. Stair construction should be considered and coordinated early into project budgeting and planning to maintain compliance during the early stages of construction.

Stay tuned for future Insights Posts related to standpipe installation and availability during construction, especially concerning stair construction. For inquiries about the implementation of NFPA 241 in relation to your project, please contact our office at info@crcfire.com.


Application of any information provided, for any use, is at the reader’s risk and without liability to Code Red Consultants. Code Red Consultants does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in this blog as applicable codes and standards change over time. The application, enforcement and interpretation of codes and standards may vary between Authorities Having Jurisdiction and for this reason, registered design professionals should be consulted to determine the appropriate application of codes and standards to a specific scope of work.