Residential Cooking Equipment

Q: What is the standard in hospitals regarding use of toasters or popcorn machines up in nursing units where patient care areas are located? Is there an issue or concern with use of these items in those areas?

A: This was not highly regulated, and some authorities got very uptight with this and did not permit such appliances to be used in patient care areas (and rightfully so… they produce a lot of heat, some smoke and vapor). But, section 19.3.2.5.2 on the 2012 LSC did address this type of equipment and says where residential cooking equipment is used for food warming or limited cooking, the equipment is not required to be protected in accordance with NFPA 96 and the presence of the equipment shall not require the area to be a hazardous area. This is a new section of the 2012 LSC and one that should allow residential toasters and popcorn makers and microwave ovens and coffee pots in break rooms.