Q: Does the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code permit existing suite doors that open into the corridor to be compliant if they do not latch shut? We have different interpretations of 188.8.131.52.1.2.
A: No. Corridor entrance doors to suites must latch. Section 184.108.40.206.5 requires all corridor doors to latch. CMS does not allow the exception for a device that holds the door closed with 5 lbs. of force.
Since a suite is nothing more than a large room with smaller rooms inside, the barrier that separates the suite from the corridor must meet the conditions for corridor walls, which means the door must latch. The provision in 220.127.116.11.1.2 (2) is written to allow existing suites to have smoke resistant walls when fire-rated barriers are required by the corridor walls.