Safety

ALSMs, access-control locks, and fire door inspection records

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, December 1, 2017

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

Editor’s note: Each month, Brad Keyes, CHSP, owner of Keyes Life Safety Compliance, answers your questions about life safety compliance. Our editorial advisory board also reviews the Q&A column. Follow Keyes’ blog on life safety at www.keyeslifesafety.com for up-to-date information.  

Alternative Life Safety Measures

Q: Our hospital has a few off-site locations: a family practice clinic, an occupational health clinic, and soon an urgent care clinic. It is my understanding that these facilities are considered business occupancies. They are not licensed as departments of our hospital. Do they need Alternative Life Safety Measures (ALSM) for construction projects?

A: Yes, all construction projects should be evaluated for ALSMs regardless of the building they are conducted in. This is a requirement of section 4.6.10.1 of the 2012 Life Safety Code® (LSC): to evaluate any impairment of a life safety feature for consideration of implementing compensating measures. Even if an accreditation surveyor does not make an onsite assessment of the facility, the organization is still obligated through section 4.6.10.1 to conduct an ALSM risk assessment.

Access-control locks

Q: I’m told that a “PUSH TO EXIT” button is required for access-control locks. Is a “PULL TO EXIT” lever equivalent?

A: No, I would say a “PULL TO EXIT” lever is not equivalent. Section 7.2.1.6.2 of the 2012 LSC refers to access-control locks, which call for a manual release device, located on the egress side, 40–48 inches vertically above the floor and within 60 inches of the secured opening. The manual release device must be readily accessible and clearly identified by a sign that reads “PUSH TO EXIT.” When operated, the manual release device must result in direct interruption of power to the lock—independent of the locking system electronics—and the lock must remain unlocked for not less than 30 seconds.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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