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Toilet Partition Fire Standards: How to Remain Code Compliant

Commercial Bathroom Partitions

When it comes to any new installation or construction in your building, keeping up with fire standards is absolutely essential. Not only does it help protect the occupants of your building, but you can also face legal action or fines if your toilet stalls aren’t up to code.

Understanding Which Fire Codes Apply

Building and fire codes can be a challenge to navigate, as it isn’t always clear which codes apply where. The line between fire codes and building codes is also sometimes difficult to determine.

Your facility may be subject to building codes at the municipal or state level. The individual codes you must follow will depend on your specific jurisdiction, and any building owner should take the time to research their local codes.

In most cases, local building codes will take their requirements from an existing standard rather than define new rules. In the US, the two most commonly cited organizations are the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

The International Code Council

The ICC is the organization behind the International Building Code (IBC), which serves as a standard for a variety of building and fire standards in the United States. The IBC doesn’t just deal with fire safety, but that is one of its key focuses. The code is used for both the design and inspection of buildings.

The IBC has a wide range of requirements for bathrooms. They stipulate the required number of bathrooms, toilets, and other fixtures depending on the type of building and its maximum occupancy. There are also requirements for the installation of toilets, such as needing 15 inches of side clearance from partitions or walls.

Individual compartments are required for public or employee bathrooms. This means that proper walls or partitions are mandatory. The IBC also mandates that each stall has a lockable door.

The IBC notes that stalls must be at least 60 inches deep when toilet-mounted tanks are used or 56 inches deep when wall-mounted tanks are used. A clearance of at least 21 inches is required in front of any toilet.

For urinals, there should be partitions between them. These partitions must be at least 30 inches apart. They must begin within 12 inches of the floor and extend to at least 60 inches in height.

The partitions must extend at least 18 inches from the wall surface or 6 inches from the outermost part of the urinal, whichever is more.

The IBC lists several requirements for accessible bathrooms. They require one side of a stall to have a toe clearance of 12 inches, while the remainder must have a clearance of 8 inches, except for support structures.

The National Fire Protection Agency

The NFPA publishes a wide range of standards focusing on specific areas. These cover both typical building use and a variety of more specialized industrial applications. Standards include construction principles, materials, and fire prevention and mitigation methods.

One of the most important standards for bathroom stalls is NFPA 286. This standard lays out requirements for the materials used in walls, ceilings, partitions, and other internal coverings. Bathroom stalls must be made of the right materials to meet this standard.

Many common bathroom stall materials are inherently fireproof. Stainless steel, powder-coated metals, and other examples simply are not flammable. Finishes and coatings for these, however, are tested by manufacturers to ensure compliance.

Various types of HDPE and laminated plastics are also common options for bathroom stalls. While not as entirely fireproof as metal components, the plastic stall components you receive from trusted manufacturers also meet the stringent requirements of NFPA 286.

There is also a segment of NFPA 13, the Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, that concerns suspended or floor-mounted vertical obstructions. Basically, stall partitions should be installed such that they aren’t too close to sprinklers. This ensures that they don’t obstruct activation during a fire.

Make Sure that Your Stalls Meet Fire Codes

If you want to ensure that your bathroom stalls are compliant with fire, building, and ADA codes, then you can trust Fast Partitions to provide high-quality stalls and hardware in a variety of styles and finishes, all of which meet NFPA standards. Build your custom quote today to get started.

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