Sleeping Loft Liability

 
Many chapter houses have sleeping “lofts” or “platforms” that were constructed by undergraduate residents. If not properly designed and installed, they present dangerous life safety issues.
 
Typical safety considerations include:
 
1. Distance to Ceiling. Lofts typically are constructed close to the ceiling. Fire code is typically 4 feet clearance to avoid a “smoke pocket” and to be visible and accessible to fire and rescue attempting to locate occupants.
 
2. Material Combustibility. Wood structures and privacy curtains are highly combustible.
 
3. Block Egress. Lofts often block access to windows and other fire egress.
 
4. Structural Capacity. The design may be inadequate for load and collapse.
 
If these structures exist in your chapter house, consider removing and banning future installations.