Suite Definition

Q: I can’t seem to find the definition of a suite in the Life Safety Code. What defines a suite?

A: Think of a suite as nothing more than a large room, with a lot of smaller rooms inside. You’re correct in saying the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code does not define a suite, but the 2012 edition has. That edition says a suite is: “An accommodation with two or more contiguous rooms comprising a compartment, with or without doors between such rooms, that provides sleeping, sanitary, work, and storage facilities.” And: “A series of rooms or spaces or a subdivided room separated from the remainder of the building by walls and doors.” There are different types of suites:

  • Non-patient care suites
  • Patient care non-sleeping suites
  • Patient care sleeping suites
  • Patient care suite
  • Currently, the 2000 edition of the LSC limits suites to the following sizes:
  • 5,000 square feet for patient care sleeping suites
  • 10,0000 square feet for non-patient sleeping suites
  • The 2012 edition has relaxed those limitations on suites, and hospitals are permitted to adopt that section of the 2012 Life Safety Code through the CMS categorical waivers. Since the suite is considered a room (no matter how large it is), it is subject to the rules and regulations that concern all rooms, mainly:
  • It must be separated from the corridor by appropriate corridor construction, including doors and windows
  • Entrance doors to the suite from the corridor must positively latch
  • Egress from the corridor, into the suite to get to an exit, is not permitted