Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column

Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Smoke detectors

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
June 12, 2019

Q: Are smoke detectors required in individual hospital patient rooms, and what are the exemptions to not have a detector in individual rooms?

A: There is no Life Safety Code requirement to have smoke detectors in hospital patient sleeping rooms or treatment areas. There may be other standards or regulations that could require them, so check with your state and local authorities. Typically, the only areas that are required to have smoke detectors in a hospital are:

• Elevator lobbies and elevator mechanical rooms

• Near doors that are held-open by magnets

• In the same room with fire alarm control panels that are not constantly supervised

• In areas open to the corridor that are not constantly supervised

• Inside locked areas that use the Specialized Protective Measure locking arrangement identified by 19.2.2.2.5.2

• Patient sleeping suites that do not provide direct supervision

• Smoke compartments containing patient sleeping suites over 5,000 square feet but not exceeding 7,500 square feet and are not equipped with Quick Response (QR) sprinklers

• Patient sleeping suites over 7,500 square feet but not exceeding 10,000 square feet

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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