Entries by BKeyes

Fire & Smoke Dampers No Longer Required

Q:  The hospital I work for recently completed its sprinkler upgrade and wants to reduce maintenance by removing some fire and smoke dampers in the walls.  What is the procedure for removing fire and smoke dampers within these walls? May we just permanently prop-open the wall dampers and leave them in place or should those dampers more »

Laboratory Entrance Doors

Q: We had a mock survey recently and the life safety surveyor indicated that the lab — because it is a hazard area — is required to have all the doors closed to corridors. He said approved hold-open devices don’t count. But we use approved hold-open devices on some of our lab doors. If we more »

Nursing Home Storage Facility

Q: Our nursing home facility has the required sprinklers inside the facility, but management wants to move boxes of charts to the back yard/parking lot area into a locked and secure metal storage building, which will be large enough to walk inside and store boxes on shelving built along the walls. Is it a requirement more »

Different Editions of the Life Safety Code

Q: How do I know which edition of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code I should be following? I see you refer to the 2000 edition many times, but shouldn’t I follow the most recent edition? A: In March, 2003, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted the 2000 edition of the LSC, more »

Wood Framed Walls in a Hospital

Q: During some research in the area around our main security control room, we discovered that two of the walls are constructed with wood framing.  Our facility is fully sprinklered and comprises of two-stories; however this section of the hospital is single-story. Does the wood framing need to come out or is it of such a more »

Door Closing Time

Q: Is there a maximum time required for doors to automatically close? This question came up in a recent department meeting and we cannot find any code reference that specifies how quickly a door must close. A: It depends if the door is a swinging type or sliding type. The LSC and NFPA 80 Fire more »

Smoke Detectors Used for Door Release

Q: In our hospital, we have smoke compartment doors in the corridor that are held open with magnetic hold-open devices. When the fire alarm system is activated, the magnetic devices release and the doors automatically close. Are we required to have smoke detectors located within 5 feet of these doors, even though the smoke compartments more »

Removal of Occupant Use Fire Hoses

Q: We have a large hospital with over 1.5 million square feet. We are fully sprinkled and would like to remove our occupant use fire hoses. It has been determined that we will not use these fire hoses in the event of  fire, and the local fire department will not use them either. I have asked more »

Time Clock in an Exit Stairwell

Q: Is it permitted to have a time clock in an exit stairwell of a hospital? My VP of Operations wants to install time recording stations in stairwells where employees will have to record their time. Our hospital is over 30 years old and is fully sprinklered. A: Section 19.2.1 of the Life Safety Code more »

Gift Shops

Q: Are hospital gift shops required to be treated as hazardous areas? We had a survey recently and the inspector said the entrance door to our gift shop needed to have positive latching hardware. A: This is one of those “it depends” answers. Section 19.3.2.5 of the 2000 Life Safety Code clearly states that gift more »