Safety

Questions & Answers

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, May 1, 2009

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Teaser: Magnetic latches on suites We recently had an inspection in our hospital where the inspector cited us for our suite doors not having positive latching. The suite doors have 1,500 lb. access-control magnets controlled by card-swipe badge readers and wall-mounted push buttons. They are on emergency power and eight-hour battery backup and are approved by our local and state fire marshals. Is the inspector correct, or do I have a case for an appeal? The concept of a suite of rooms requires the barriers of the suite to be protected in the same manner as any other room bordering on an exit access corridor. Therefore, entrance doors to the suite must meet the requirements of corridor doors. In your question, you did not specify if your organization is considered a new healthcare occupancy or an existing healthcare occupancy. This is an important issue, as there are different requirements for each. If your facility?s construction documents were approved by the local authorities after March 1, 2003, then it is considered a new healthcare occupancy.

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