Q: As I understand the Life Safety Code, doors opening from a patient floor corridor into a patient room do not have to latch. I have a room next to a patient room that we call a support room. It contains meds, a sink and an ice machine and has to be secured. It is not a rated opening, has a closure and is secured with a mag lock and keypad and has two ways to egress when in the room. Is this a OK scenario?
A: No… that scenario is not correct. The room you described must have a door that separates it from the corridor, and the door must latch. Take a look at 22.214.171.124 of the 2012 Life Safety Code that says corridors must be separated from all other areas by partitions unless otherwise permitted by one of the nine (9) exceptions. The med room is not one of the nine exceptions. Therefore, according to 126.96.36.199.5, the door must latch. You say it is equipped with a magnetic lock. Keep in mind a magnetic lock is not an acceptable substitute for a latch. If installed in accordance with section 188.8.131.52.2 (access-control locks, having a motion sensor and a ‘Push to Exit’ button on the egress side), then the magnetic lock is permitted, but the door still needs to have a latch. CMS does not permit the allowance for existing doors to not have positive latching hardware provided a force of 5-lbs. is applied to the latch edge.
Whoever told you that patient room doors do not have to latch was wrong. Patient rooms are also required to be separated from the corridor according to 184.108.40.206, and have doors that must latch, according to 220.127.116.11.5.