When was the last time your community experienced a Life Safety Inspection?
Whether your community is preparing for an annual inspection or verifying that a recent renovation meets the Life Safety Standards, it is important to ensure your community is in compliance with each of the K-Tags. LW Consulting, Inc’s new service line, Life Safety Assessments, includes reviewing each area of the Life Safety Standards and Fire Safety Codes.
Our new K-Tags In Review Series will discuss some of the most cited K-Tags. In this blog, we will discuss K-Tag 363 Existing: Corridors and Doors.
Note: K-Tag 363 Existing (Facilities built before July 5, 2016, can meet Existing Occupancy requirements)
In existing occupancy facilities, the requirements for K-Tag 353 differ from new facilities. The regulation refers to common corridor doors and does not pertain to doors used in hazardous areas, vertical enclosures, or exits. Communities that are being inspected under the existing occupancy regulations are required to have corridor doors that resist fire for a minimum of twenty minutes. Doors located in fully sprinklered smoke sections are only required to resist the passage of smoke.
Corridor doors as well as doors leading to hazardous areas are required to latch. The inspectors will verify that the doors are able to latch. The leadership team should conduct regular rounds and training to ensure that all team members understand that doors may not be prevented from shutting by the use of a door jam or similar object. Communities must ensure that all corridor doors can latch and do not have foreign materials used to prevent them from latching.
It is important to limit the potential for smoke to move from compartment to compartment. The doors may not have more than one inch from the bottom of the door to the floor. In non-sprinklered smoke compartments, door frames are required to be labeled and manufactured from materials such as steel. There should be regular inspections to ensure that all corridor doors latch, are in good repair, and do not have gaps or damage to their frame that may cause the community to operate out of compliance.
One observation of non-compliance may lead the inspectors to check the latches or door integrity of multiple doors in one hallway or throughout the facility.
- The resident room door on the first floor was not smoke-tight when latched in door frame.
- Ice room held open by unapproved means.
- The resident's room failed to latch due to clothing hanging from the doorknob.
- Doors require adjustment in order to latch.
- Linen storage lacked positive latching.
- Hole in door.
- The resident's room door was not smoke-tight while latched in the frame.
For more information on how our Life Safety Assessments can help your community, contact Emile LeDoux at 717-213-3120 or email ELeDoux@LW-Consult.com.