Suite Doors

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 19.2.5.7.1.2.

A: No. Corridor entrance doors to suites must latch. Section 19.3.6.3.5 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 19.2.5.7.1.2 (2) is written to allow existing suites to have smoke resistant walls when fire-rated barriers are required by the corridor walls.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.