Lockers in Corridors

Q: We have a behavioral health unit and our administration would like to install lockers for visitors. However, there is only one location for these lockers and that is in the egress corridor outside of the unit. I am telling them this not permitted. Am I correct?

A: Without looking at the situation myself, I would be inclined to say it is not permitted because of the following potential issues:

  • Obstruction of the required width of the corridor (6 feet)
  • When the doors to the lockers are left open they project more than 4 inches in to the corridor
  • Hazardous area open to the corridor (combustible material in the lockers are not separated from the corridor)

Now, there could be exceptions to the above, such as:

  • If the lockers are recessed into an alcove where they would not obstruct the required width of the corridor
  • If the lockers are recessed into an alcove where an open door would not project more than 4 inches into the corridor
  • If the grouping of the lockers was less than 50 square feet, then it does not constitute a hazardous area
  • If the locker doors did not have vents and had positive latching hardware, and the doors did resist the passage of smoke, then you could qualify under 19.3.6.1 and 9.3.6.3 for corridor separation.

Overall, I don’t think it is a good idea to start placing lockers in a corridor, but there are ways to accomplish it and still be compliant with the Life Safety Code.