Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column


Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Smoke barrier between two different occupancies

Brad Keyes discusses regulations for smoke barrier between two different occupancies

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
March 4, 2020

Q: In a single-story facility that has both Ambulatory Healthcare and Business occupancies, is there a requirement for a smoke barrier in this same separation? I am aware of the 1-hour fire resistive rated barrier separation requirement per the Life Safety Code, but I cannot find a requirement for a smoke barrier in the separation between the two occupancies. The Ambulatory Healthcare occupancy is an emergency department, which is only 3,500SF. The Business Occupancy is an outpatient clinic.

A: Well…. It depends. Is the 3,500 square foot ambulatory healthcare occupancy (AHCO) fully protected with smoke detectors or sprinklers? If so, then there is no need for two different smoke compartments and therefore no smoke barrier is required (see section 21.3.7 of the 2012 LSC). However, if the AHCO is not fully protected with smoke detectors or sprinklers, then you are required to provide a smoke barrier that does separate two different smoke compartments.  

If you are required to have a smoke barrier (that separates two different smoke compartments), then that barrier could be the same as the 1-hour fire-rated barrier that separates the AHCO from the business occupancies. However, if you choose that route, the doors between the AHCO and the business occupancies must remain unlocked and available for immediate evacuation from either area, into the other adjoining area [see 21.3.7.2(3)]. Not a probable situation. 

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.




See the latest posts on our homepage Share

Topic Area: Regulations, Codes & Standards


Recent Posts
Recent Posts

Gram-Negative Bacteria Threaten Hospital Patients


World Health Organization has named antimicrobial resistance as one of the 10 biggest threats to global public health.

2/1/2023

OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital Simulates a Renovated Surgical Department


The simulation allowed the hospital to see two different renovations for its surgical department.

2/1/2023

More Healthcare Workers Willing to Quit Over Workplace Violence


Workplace violence is on the rise and less employees are willing to deal with it.

2/1/2023

Hospitals Address Recent String of Gun Violence


St. Louis Children’s Hospital has begun distributing free gun locks to anyone who needs them.

1/31/2023

Strawberry Fields REIT Acquires The Landmark of Breathitt County Rehabilitation & Nursing Center


The acquired facility offers 120 beds and a range of services for its residents.

1/31/2023






FREE
NEWSLETTER

News & Updates • Webcast Alerts • Building Technologies

All fields are required.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.



You Might Like