Classification of Vertical Circulation Systems

Vertical circulation systems may be divided into two classes. Class I systems are intended for movement of both people and goods and include ramps, stairs, escalators, and elevators. Class II systems, including dumbwaiters and vertical conveyors, in contrast, may not be used for movement of people.

Class I systems may be divided into two subclasses, A and B. Class IA systems can be used by people both under normal and emergency conditions as a means of egress. This class includes ramps, stairs, and escalators (powered stairs) that meet requirements for means of egress specified in building codes or the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code (see Art. 3.5.10). Systems not acceptable as an emergency means of egress comprise Class IB. (Such systems nevertheless may be used for emergency evacuation of a building, but the capacity of Class IA systems alone must be sufficient for rapid, safe evacuation of the maximum probable
building population.)

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