Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column

Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Delayed egress locks

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
September 18, 2019

Q: I have a question about delayed egress locks in nursing homes. Can you have more than one door equipped with delayed egress locks in a path of egress? I know with the new code they allow it but I thought CMS was not. I thought I read somewhere where there were 4 things that CMS was not allowing that the new code was allowing but I cannot find it now. Grrrr.. Can you help me with that?

A: Yes… You can have more than 1 door equipped with delayed egress locks in the path of egress. The 2000 Life Safety Code had specific language that prohibited it in healthcare occupancies but the 2012 LSC did eliminate that language. But check with your state and local  AHJs to see if they have more restrictive requirements.

As far as I can remember, CMS over-ruled four things regarding the 2012 LSC:

1. 4-inch corridor projections instead of 6-inch

2. Roller latches are not permitted on any door that is required to latch

3. One-person incapable of self-preservation defines ambulatory health care occupancies instead of four or more persons incapable of self-preservation

4. Emergency departments are classified as healthcare occupancies if they contain observation beds.

Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.

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