Q: We are converting a facility that was used as a physician’s office into our women’s clinic and OB/GYN facility. There were previously 4 exam rooms and we are making it into 6 exam rooms. This unit has no fire alarm, no sprinklers, not even a stand-alone smoke detector. This doesn’t seem right in today’s environment.
A: It appears what you are describing is a business occupancy. Section 220.127.116.11 of the 2012 LSC says this about fire alarm systems in business occupancies: “A fire alarm system in accordance with Section 9.6 shall be provided in any business occupancy where any one of the following conditions exists:
- The building is two or more stories in height above the level of exit discharge;
- The occupancy is subject to 50 or more occupants above or below the level of exit discharge;
- The occupancy is subject to 300 or more total occupants.”
If your facility does not meet any of the above requirements, then you would not be required to have a fire alarm system. Also, section 38.3.5 does not require business occupancies to have sprinklers. But please check with your state and local authorities to see if they have other requirements.