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Note: This document or portion of document references a state or local requirement that is NOT required by the 2010 ADA Standards.

11B-504.8 Floor identification.

Floor identification signs required by Chapter 10, Section 1023.9 complying with Sections 11B-703.1, 11B-703.2, 11B-703.3 and 11B-703.5 shall be located at the landing of each floor level, placed adjacent to the door on the latch side, in all enclosed stairways in buildings two or more stories in height to identify the floor level. At the exit discharge level, the sign shall include a raised five pointed star located to the left of the identifying floor level. The outside diameter of the star shall be the same as the height of the raised characters.

ETA Editor's Note

Stairway signage is among the most frequently-observed barriers in California, because of the prevalent misunderstanding of the requirements. The "Floor Identification Signs" referenced in CBC 11B-504.8 and in the second paragraph (only) of 1023.9 should not be confused with the "Stairway Identification Signs" (hereinafter termed the "Fire Department Signs," to assist in clarifying) referenced in the first paragraph of 1023.9, and in 1023.9.1.

"Floor Identification Signs" are for routine wayfinding use by vision-impaired persons and others who use the stairs, and these are required at all enclosed stairways of multi-story buildings. They must be tactile, and located at the latch side of the door inside the stairway as prescribed by CBC Section 11B-703.4.

"Fire Department Signs" are for use by emergency responders, to enable efficient navigation through tall buildings in emergency situations without having to backtrack, losing valuable time. They are required at enclosed stairs in buildings with more than 3 stories above or below the level of exit discharge. They are not required to be, and should not be tactile. They are not required to be, and should not be located adjacent to the latch side of the door. Making them tactile and placing them at the latch side of the door does not benefit emergency responders, and distracts routine vision-impaired stair users by providing information that is of little wayfinding use (e.g., whether the stair connects to the roof level).

It is not possible to meet the requirements for both the "Floor Identification Signs" and the "Fire Department Signs" with a single sign at each stair level, although this is frequently observed. Architects, Signage Consultants and Manufacturers having standard details showing one sign for both purposes are encouraged to change them permanently, indicating two separate and distinct signs. The requirements of 11B-504.8 do not apply to the "Fire Department Signs."

Neither the "Floor Identification Signs" nor the "Fire Department Signs" are required by 2010 ADA Standards. Note also that neither of these signs is required at open stairways.


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