Large Trash Containers

Q: I have a question about the limits on the size of trash containers in healthcare facilities, including ambulatory healthcare facilities. Consider larger collection bins, that are housed in one-hour rated soiled utility rooms, and are then moved close to the loading dock area, an area which is separated from the rest of the facility with 2-hour occupancy separations and is indicated “Business” occupancy although it is the sub-basement of a hospital building. These are staged in a hallway of this business area while awaiting emptying, cleaning and return to the soiled utility rooms. NFPA 101 2012 Chapter 38/39.7.6 would seem to permit this. What do you think?

A: You are correct… As long as the large tubs are located in business occupancies, there is no Life Safety Code requirement that requires them to be stored in a 1-hour hazardous room. That is strictly a healthcare occupancy (see 19.7.5.7.1 of the 2012 LSC) and an ambulatory healthcare occupancy (see 20.7.5.5.1 of the 2012 LSC) requirement.