Q: How does one handle a “Soiled Utility” room in an Ambulatory Healthcare Occupancy? If it is a small storage room without large volumes of flammable liquids, but perhaps containing soiled linens, are there any special fire protection features that need to be included?
A: Soiled utility rooms in ASCs are treated differently than they are in hospitals and healthcare occupancies. Where chapters 18 and 19 specifically identify soiled utility rooms as hazardous areas for healthcare occupancies, chapters 20 and 21 do not for ambulatory healthcare occupancies.
But chapters 20 and 21 refer to chapters 38 and 39 for “Protection from Hazards” and it does identify ‘storage rooms’ as a hazardous area and must comply with section 8.7. Section 126.96.36.199 requires the hazardous room (i.e. soiled utility room in ASC) to be protected in one of the following two ways:
- Enclosing the room with 1-hour fire rated barriers, that would include a ¾ hour fire rated door assembly that is self-closing and positive latching, or:
- Protect the room with sprinklers.
That’s what you need to do.