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When is emergency lighting required for existing business occupancies?

If the public can access your building, then you are most likely going to need emergency egress lighting. However, based on the Code, the most general rule is emergency egress lighting is needed when you are required to have two or more paths of egress and/or have delayed egress locking on doors.

Need a tip on lead acid batteries for fire alarm systems in hospitals?

Lead acid type batteries used for fire alarm systems need to be replaced every five years after the date of manufacture according to NFPA. This can also be done more frequently if needed.

According to the Life Safety Code, the following departure components are approved means of egress:
  • Ramps
  • Stairs
  • Doors
  • Fire escape ladders
  • Horizontal exits
  • Smokeproof enclosures
  • Exit passageways
  • Areas of refuge
  • Alternating tread devices

Notice that elevators are not mentioned on the list.

What classification does a freestanding Emergency Department fall under out of Health Care Occupancy, Ambulatory Care Occupancy or Business Occupancy?

While Health Care and Ambulatory Care may be acceptable occupancy classifications, a freestanding Emergency Department would never be considered a Business Occupancy. This is because not all patients brought to an Emergency Department are able to walk or speak, so that takes Business Occupancy off the table.

Did you know that waivers and equivalencies are only valid until the next survey?
  • If CMS approved a waiver or equivalency, you should be going through the process repeatedly every three years. This statement is still true even if things have not changed.

Need some advice on how to assess the risk of patients' electronic devices?
  • A risk assessment is beneficial when deciding if patients should be allowed to bring personal laptops, hairdryers and other electronic equipment into the hospital. Healthcare facilities are expected to develop a course of action to recognize patients' personal equipment that would be included in the medical equipment management plan.

Hospital Submissions (Pennsylvania): DOH, DAAC, DLS or Local Code
  • Need a quick guide on whether to send your hospital submissions to DOH, DAAC, DLS or local code? Drawing submissions are required to¬†go to DLS for I-2 and outpatient surgery centers. All hospital based departments, including business occupancies, must submit their narrative in correspondence to DAAC. All additions and alterations are going to be submitted to local code.

Door Decorating Limits Visibility
  • Different holidays and events throughout the year bring forth themed door decorating. It is important to remember that no decorations, accessories or other objects should limit visibly or access to doorways according to Section of the Life Safety Code. All fire-rated door decorating should be looked at as a no-go during festivities.

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