ABHR Dispensers in Business Occupancies

Q: Brad- Are alcohol based hand-rub (ABHR) dispensers permitted in corridor of business occupancies?

A: The LSC is very silent about alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) dispensers in a business occupancy corridor. The Tentative Interim Amendment issued in April, 2004 which modifies the 2000 edition of the LSC, permits ABHR dispensers in corridors of healthcare occupancies with many exceptions and requirements. Subsequent editions of the LSC do allow them in ambulatory care occupancies, but does not address business occupancies. Section 8.4.3.2 of the LSC says: “No storage or handling of flammable liquids or gases shall be permitted in any location where such storage would jeopardize egress from the structure…” The ABHR dispensers are 60% – 70% alcohol, which makes them flammable liquids and therefore would not be allowed in corridors unless the occupancy chapter specifically allows them. So, in summary, based on what NFPA has said and what is written in the LSC, I would say no, they are not permitted in business occupancies. But, as always, it really doesn’t matter what I say, all that matters is what the AHJ says. So, I suggest you contact your local and state AHJs and ask them if it is permitted. That may sound like a cop-out, but they really are the authorities and when something is not clear in the code book, they are the ones to make the interpretation.