Feb 24 2017

Correction to Yesterday’s Posting

Category: BlogBKeyes @ 12:00 am
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Hello readers…

I did it again. I made a mistake in my answer to yesterday’s posting, which asked the question if signs are required on doors to storage rooms where there is less than 300 cubic feet of oxidizing gases stored. Initially I said yes, citing NFPA 99-2012, sections 11.3.4.1 and 11.3.4.2 which identifies the need for signs on doors to rooms that store oxidizing gases.

But, thanks to my good friend Marge McFarlane of Superior Performance, LLC, she spotted the error and sent me an email identifying it.

If you want the details… here is where I made my mistake: Sections 11.3.4.1 and 11.3.4.2 of NFPA 99-2012 are under the heading of 11.3 “Cylinder and Container Storage Requirements”. Only rooms that store 300 cubic feet of gas or more are required to meet requirements for storage rooms. Since sections 11.3.4.1 and 11.3.4.2 are sub-sections of 11.3, they only apply to conditions identified under 11.3.

So, I took sections 11.3.4.1 and 11.3.4.2 out of context and thought it applied to all rooms storing oxidizing gases, which was incorrect. It only applies to rooms storing oxidizing gases in quantities of 300 cubic feet or more.

I’ve corrected the posting so the mistake is gone, but if you read it and thought you need to add signs on all the doors where oxygen cylinders are stored, please understand the signs are only required if the room contains 300 cubic feet or more.

Sorry… I apologize to my readers. I hope you will forgive me. I strive to be accurate and not make mistakes, but as you can see, understanding and interpreting the standards can be tricky.

Thanks, Marge.

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Jan 11 2016

New Construction Supply Room

Category: BlogBKeyes @ 12:00 am
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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 18.3.6.3.4?  Only clean storage rooms greater than 100 square feet need to be 1 hour rated.  Since not mentioned in table 18.3.2.1, 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.

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Jan 08 2016

Door to Storage Room

Category: BlogBKeyes @ 12:00 am
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Q: We have an Urgent Care facility that is classified as business occupancy. Do I need to lock the door to a storage room?

A: The Life Safety Code does not require a door to a storage room to be locked, in an occupancy classification used by healthcare providers, including business occupancy.

However, one of your authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) may require the door to be locked, depending on the risk to safety for your patients and staff. If you are accredited by a national accreditation organization, they usually have a standard that requires the healthcare provider to assess the safety and security risks in the environment to your patients and staff. Depending on the contents and layout of the storage room, there may be a significant risk to unauthorized individuals (especially children and behavioral health patients). You may be required to assess the perceived risk in all areas, including the storage room and determine the best course of action to mitigate that risk. The easiest and safest decision may be to lock the door.

Also check with your state and local AHJs as well. They may have regulations that require the door to be locked.

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