Health Care

WWYD? Joint Commission Policy Changes

I'm just going to admit it - I'm confused - and I'm hoping that someone who works more closely with the Joint Commission can help to clear this up.  The Joint Commission recently distributed a document giving notice of 3 changes to their standards; 2 of the changes involve doors, and the effective date is March 11, 2018.

By |2018-03-09T13:10:11-04:00March 8th, 2018|FDAI, Fire Doors, Health Care|15 Comments

Decoded: Patient Room Doors in Health Care Occupancies (August 2015)

The recent nursing home fire in central China which killed 38 elderly residents is a deadly reminder of the responsibility of these facilities to keep their residents safe. While the code requirements for health care facilities and nursing homes go far beyond the doors, frames, and hardware, there are some important considerations for door openings...

By |2015-08-28T10:11:15-04:00June 18th, 2015|Articles, Fire Doors, Health Care|30 Comments

When is a door not a door?

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about murals in health care occupancies and a change to the 2015 edition of NFPA 101 - The Life Safety Code. I just read an article in Australian Ageing Agenda about the practice of disguising doors in memory care units, and how this affects the patients...

By |2016-05-10T13:08:09-04:00April 21st, 2015|Health Care, Means of Egress|2 Comments

Decoded: Double-Egress Pairs in a Health Care Occupancy (June 2015)

There is an IBC exception regarding smoke barrier doors that has to be one of the most confusing and widely debated door-related sections in the code. In the 2015 edition, Section 709.5 Exception 1 exempts smoke barrier doors in some health care occupancies from the requirements that apply to smoke barriers in other locations...

By |2017-09-21T10:07:35-04:00April 19th, 2015|Articles, Fire Doors, Health Care, Means of Egress|20 Comments

FF: VA Hospital

I'm spending time at a VA hospital, where my father is currently in hospice care. Even under these circumstances I can't help looking at the hardware, and I know my father would tell me to go ahead and share it. I haven't taken many photos but there are a couple below. In case I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, consider this an early Fixed-it Friday post...

By |2015-04-16T01:18:35-04:00April 16th, 2015|Fixed-it Friday, Health Care|19 Comments

Infant Abduction

There was an important change to the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) that could help to reduce the occurrence of child abduction from hospitals. Many maternity wards have infant abduction systems that use a sensor to activate a delayed egress lock when a baby is taken near the exit. But for some facilities, delayed egress locks may not be enough...

By |2015-09-23T09:46:30-04:00March 16th, 2015|Electrified Hardware, Health Care, Videos|1 Comment

Murals in Health Care Occupancies

Last summer I wrote a post about the practice of disguising doors in memory care units, to help prevent patients from "eloping."  I included many examples of doors with painted or adhesive murals, disguising doors as bookcases, gardens, wheat fields...basically anything other than an exit that might tempt a patient.  I researched the codes at that time, and there was nothing that would allow the use of murals to disguise exits.  It goes against the familiar IBC requirement:  "Means of egress doors shall be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction and finishes such that the doors are easily recognizable as doors. Mirrors or similar reflecting materials shall not be used on means of egress doors. Means of egress doors shall not be concealed by curtains, drapes, decorations or similar materials."

By |2015-02-10T23:25:53-04:00February 10th, 2015|Health Care, Means of Egress|17 Comments

Memory Care Egress

To some, locking doors to prevent egress may seem like a step backward. But in some applications, the danger of elopement is much greater than potential hazards of controlled egress. Until now, it has been difficult for memory care facilities to balance the code requirements for free egress or delayed egress, with the needs of their residents...

By |2014-03-10T11:59:17-04:00March 10th, 2014|Electrified Hardware, Health Care, Means of Egress|5 Comments

Q&A: Life Safety Code 2012

A few years ago I met Brad Keyes of Keyes Life Safety Compliance, who is a terrific resource when it comes to life safety questions about health care facilities.  When I received the question below I sent it to Brad, and his answer was so comprehensive and helpful that I asked if I could post it here.  It is relevant to all types of health care facilities, not just ambulatory health care.  Thank you Brad, for allowing me to share this information!

By |2014-01-29T13:26:56-04:00January 13th, 2014|Electrified Hardware, Health Care, Means of Egress|2 Comments

Effects of Earthquake Damage on Fire Safety

While this test report was not heavy on door-related data, I thought some of you would enjoy reading about this groundbreaking study which looked at how a test building was affected by several simulated earthquakes, and then how the damaged building's fire safety systems performed in a series of fire tests.  I found the video below fascinating:

By |2013-05-01T19:48:57-04:00March 12th, 2013|Fire Doors, Health Care, Videos|2 Comments

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