Disabling Corridor Door Closer

Q: Is it allowed to disable a corridor door’s closer by removing the arm in order to keep it open while working inside of the office in a healthcare facility? I know that propping the door open with a wedge is not an option; I was just wondering that if these doors were required to have closers on them due to being a corridor door.

A: No… it would not be acceptable to disengage the function of the closer, even if it is was not required by a code or standard. Section 4.6.12.3 of the 2012 LSC says existing features of life safety obvious to the public if not required by a code or standard, must be maintained or removed. Now, there are exceptions. When you say ‘working in the office’, if you meant there was a construction project or a repair job in progress, then yes, you can disengage the closer in order to accommodate the work in progress. In a situation like that, you would assess it for Alternative Life Safety Measures according to section 4.6.10.1 (some AHJs call this Interim Life Safety Measures or ILSMs). But if you mean the person whose office it is wants the closer disabled so they don’t have to deal with a door that closes automatically, then the answer would be no, it is not permitted. If the closer is not required on the door by the Life Safety Code, then I suggest you ask your state and local authorities to determine if you may remove the closer.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.