Safety

Keyes Q&A: Door locks, grid ceilings, 10-second delay, business occupation classifications

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, November 8, 2020

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. Follow Keyes’ blog on life safety at www.keyeslifesafety.com for up to date information.   

Two actions to operate the door

Q: We are a psychiatric hospital with more than 100 beds. Our patient eating area has two exits. One has a storeroom lock with an electric strike and a badge reader to release the door. All that is needed is to push the door. The locking setup on the other door has just been added. The door has a mag lock and a storeroom function lock on it. To exit, you must badge the reader to release the mag lock and then turn the door handle to open the door. Does this constitute two motions to exit the room, and does this meet the Life Safety Code® (LSC) requirements?

A: A Healthcare Interpretations Task Force (HITF, which is a special NFPA committee) decision 10 years ago said that swiping a badge reader does not constitute an action to operate the door. The June 2008 minutes of the HITF meeting revealed this question and answer:

Question 1: Where the provisions in Chapters 18 and 19 of the Life Safety Code permit locking of doors in the direction of egress travel based on the clinical needs of the patients, is it permitted to have more than one operation to open the door?

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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