Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Protrusions in Egress Corridor

We just opened a new Emergency Care there are devices mounted in the corridors with a large 3" conduit with a half inch wire coming out of the hole.  We received a work order to install protection devices around the four x-ray control panels located in the hallway outside the radiology rooms in the new EC. These units protrude 5-8 inches into the hallways and any protection we install will end up being an additional 2-3 inches. This may cause trouble during an inspection for protruding too far into an egress corridor. Do you have any suggestions that will help keep us in compliance?

If the protruding devices are in a suite, then I don't see any Life Safety Code issues. However, if they are in an egress corridor outside of a suite, then the "control panels" should not extend more than 6-inches into the egress corridor when in the retracted position. They may be pulled down when in use and attended and may extend more than 6-inches into the corridor. However, when not in use and attended, they must be retracted to minimize the protrusion to no more than 6-inches. I'm assuming that the new EC center or unit is fully sprinklered. If the conduits and wire shown are going through an egress corridor wall, at a minimum, the penetration through the corridor wall should be sealed so that it can resist the passage of smoke. I'm not sure that the 1/2-inch wire not fully enclosed in conduit would be acceptable per the NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, in an egress corridor.
 
The Joint Commission Standard LS.02.01.20 

The hospital maintains the integrity of the means of egress. 

Elements of Performance for LS.02.01.20: 
12. The corridor width is not obstructed by wall projections. (For full text and any exceptions, refer to NFPA 101-2000: 18/19.2.3.3) 

Note: When corridors are 6 feet wide or more, The Joint Commission permits certain objects to project into the corridor, such as hand rub dispensers or computer desks that are retractable. They must be no more than 36 inches wide and cannot project more than 6 inches into the corridor. These items must be installed at least 48 inches apart and above the handrail height. (For full text and any exceptions, refer to: NFPA 101-2000: 18/19.2.3.3) 

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