Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column

Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Fire-Watch

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
October 7, 2020

Q: I have a question about renovations and construction in a long-term care facility. Part of a planned renovation coming up is removal and replacement of the suspended drop ceiling and grids in or hallways. I was reading on your site about sprinkler requirements during this kind of work and I wanted to clarify something.

Our building is fully sprinklered, and is as single-story building with six feet to eight feet of attic space above the drop ceiling. If there are wet system sprinklers that protect below the suspended ceiling, plus dry system sprinklers located above in the attic space to protect above the drop ceiling, do I still need to conduct a fire-watch during construction?

A: If what you say is true, and you have a dry sprinkler system properly mounted above suspended ceiling to protect the wood trusses and joists, then no, I would say you do not have to do a fire watch, or do any modifications of the wet sprinkler system.

This is because once you remove the suspended ceiling, there still is no impairments to the sprinkler system.

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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