Life Safety Drawings

Q: The hospital where I work is leased, and the landlord is not a healthcare architect and pushes back on everything. My need is to have the life safety plan drawings updated to reflect proper boundaries and identification of the smoke compartments, hazardous areas, door assembly ratings, suites with sleeping or non and size, etc, etc.. Is there a standard or code which prescribes “requirements” or at least the expectation for what types of info should be on the LS plan?

A: Yes…. Every accreditation organization has some sort of standard or requirement that sets expectations regarding Life Safety drawings. Ironically, neither NFPA or CMS has any standard that requires Life Safety drawings yet the state agencies surveying on behalf of CMS will expect that you have an accurate set of Life Safety drawings.

Life Safety drawings are considered operational documents (not unlike a management plan or a policy) and I could see where a landlord is not responsible for providing operational documents for you at no charge. I suggest you contract with your own favorite architect to create these LS drawings, because a reluctant landlord will do you a lousy job at best.

Joint Commission’s standard identifies their minimum requirements for Life Safety drawings:

  • Identify areas of the building that are sprinklered
  • Identify locations of hazardous areas
  • Identify locations of all fire-rated barriers
  • Identify locations of all smoke-barriers
  • Identify the locations of all suites and identify the size of each suite in square footage
  • Identify the location of smoke compartments
  • Identify the locations of all chutes and shafts
  • Identify locations under approved waivers or equivalencies