Safety

Occupancy types present code and Joint Commission nuances

Hospital Safety Insider, January 23, 2008

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Misclassifying an occupancy type carries with it many underlying factors within the Life Safety Code.

Corridor width, always a contentious point when it comes to obstructions, offers a good example because it varies depending on occupancy:

  • In healthcare occupancies, existing corridors must be at least 4 ft wide
  • In ambulatory healthcare occupancies (serving four or more people incapable of rescuing themselves), existing corridors must be at least 44 inches wide
  • In business occupancies, existing corridors must be at least 44 inches wide if the corridor serves an occupant load of 50 or more people

There are nuances to consider if two occupancies share the same building, mainly centering on whether the occupancies are separated by a two-hour fire wall. And remember, The Joint Commission doesn't require a Statement of Conditions for outpatient clinics classified as business occupancies under certain conditions.

It's a lot to take in, so we invite you to learn more by joining us next Wednesday for our live audioconference, "Avoid Life Safety Code noncompliance: Correctly classify occupancies in healthcare facilities."



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