Q: Is it not the case that in new hospital construction, clean storage rooms between 51 and 100 square feet need only have a self-closing door meeting 126.96.36.199.4? Only clean storage rooms greater than 100 square feet need to be 1 hour rated. Since not mentioned in table 188.8.131.52, I’m assuming storage rooms smaller than 50 square feet need not be rated nor have a self-closing door. If all of that is correct, I have an engineer telling me that I need a smoke detector in a small storage room less than 50 square feet. My hospital is fully sprinklered.
A: You are correct. Chapter 18 of the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code for new construction does not require storage rooms containing combustible materials, that are larger than 50 square feet but not exceeding 100 square feet to be fire rated, but just be equipped with a self-closing device on the door. Storage rooms containing combustible materials less than 50 square feet are exempt from hazardous area requirements, so a self-closing device on the door would not be required. There is no Life Safety Code requirement for a smoke detector in this type or size of room. Perhaps the engineer is citing a different code or standard. I suggest you ask him/her to provide a code reference for review.