In a recent Q&A on the FacilityCare website, consultant Brad Keyes answered a question about whether a hospital kitchen should be treated as a hazardous area.
According to Keyes, "from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) definition of a hazardous area it is apparent that kitchens are hazardous areas and, according to 18/184.108.40.206, they have to be safeguarded. To address your question directly, there is no language in the 2000 Life Safety Code (LSC) that says if kitchens comply with NFPA 96, they are not considered hazardous areas."
He took the issue to the national authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) over hospitals and asked them directly if they considered kitchens to be hazardous areas solely based on the NFPA definition of hazardous areas according to the 2000 LSC. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and Det Norske Veritas (DNV) said kitchens are hazardous areas. The Joint Commission said they are not hazardous areas.
Because hospitals have to comply with all of the AHJs standards and interpretations, a hospital that is Joint Commission accredited and receives funds for Medicare & Medicaid services must treat kitchens as hazardous areas because CMS says they are even though Joint Commission says they are not, Keyes said.
Read the article.