Focus: Regulations, Codes & Standards

Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Privacy curtains

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
December 20, 2017

Q: Several residents in our LTC home have had a screw installed in the track for the privacy curtain, so that they do not slide. My concern is that this would impede their evacuation of the room. I can't find anything relating to this in the NFPA life safety code.

A: Yes… You are correct: There isn’t much written on this subject. I personally would not have a problem with it, but my opinion never counts. It all depends on what the authority having jurisdiction says.

If you and your staff feel it is okay and does not constitute a hazard, then conduct a risk assessment and identify any mitigation factors to help lesson any impact on risk to the patient. If a surveyor has a concern about it, then show him/her the risk assessment and see if they accept that. They may, or they may not. At least you would have done your due diligence.

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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