In Tuesday’s post about a code change, I mentioned that swimming pool doors and gates often require panic hardware.  Several people asked me how to tell when panic hardware was required for doors serving a swimming pool enclosure, so I decided to create another “Apply It” post and let you decide.  (Here are a couple of past posts which asked you to apply your code knowledge on a music classroom and a mosque.)

Let’s use the Chilliwack YMCA project, since there is a really nice web page dedicated to this renovation.  Note: As I finished writing this post, I realized that Chilliwack is located in British Columbia.  For the sake of this exercise using the International Building Code (IBC), let’s pretend that it is 20 miles south, in the state of Washington.  But if you are in Canada and would like to use the BC Building Code, go for it!

Looking at just the pool area (upper right) let’s answer some questions.


  • The room where the pool is located measures 60 feet x 127 feet.
  • The pool measures 48 feet x 95 feet.
  • No egress routes from other spaces pass through the pool area.
  • The building is equipped throughout with an automatic fire sprinkler system and an emergency voice alarm/communication system.
  • The facility is classified as Use Group A – Assembly.
  • The adopted code is the 2021 edition of the International Building Code (IBC).

In past articles I have explained how to calculate the occupant load and the required egress width, which doors are required to be outswinging (also refer to Tuesday’s post for this), and  where panic hardware is required.  These articles are linked in the questions below, in case you need a refresher.  For Question A you will need the table on the right, which is from the 2021 edition of the IBC.

A) What is the calculated occupant load of the pool enclosure?

B) How many inches of egress width are required to serve this occupant load?

C) Are the doors serving this area required to be outswinging?

D) Do the egress doors serving the pool enclosure require panic hardware?

And since Tuesday’s post addressed the requirements for operable hardware on doors serving swimming pools, here’s one more question:

E)  The exterior egress doors serving the pool are self-closing, self-latching, and locked at all times to limit access from the exterior and allow only authorized personnel with a key to enter.  What is the allowable mounting height range for the operable hardware?

Leave your answers (or questions!) in the reply box, and I will hold them until next Tuesday when I will share the answers.  Show your work! (The answers are here!)

Do you have an idea for an “Apply-It” post?  Please leave it in the reply box!

Image:  Chilliwack YMCA

Table:  2021 International Building Code

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