Q: We have two open-heart OR’s. Each has a full 42″ wide door leaf that open to the corridor, and each has a 3’0″ door in the rear of the OR that opens into a central sterile core. The OR walls other than the corridor side are not labeled as a fire/smoke barrier on the life safety drawings. The main OR entrance door that opens into the corridor has a door closer, is rated, and has latching hardware. My question is: The 3′ 0″ doors opening into the sterile core have closers but do they have to be fitted with latching hardware?
A: Not necessarily, provided the sterile core area is qualifies as a room or a suite-of-rooms. What does the life safety drawings say about the sterile core area? Is it classified as a suite? If so, then you should be fine without a latching door between the OR and the sterile core area.
However, if the life safety drawings clearly identify the internal walls of the sterile core area as corridor walls, then the door between the OR and the sterile core area would have to latch. Remember: All corridor doors must latch.
My guess is, the sterile core area probably qualifies as a suite-of-rooms (see section 188.8.131.52 in the LSC) or if small enough, it may qualify as a simple room. As long as the 3’0” door from the OR does not open onto a corridor, then it does not need to latch.