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Smokes in hospitals

Question asked by tom.aldridge on May 2, 2019
Latest reply on May 3, 2019 by milt.werner



There is an existing hospital in Georgia that has been told they need smoke detectors added in the Emergency Department specifically but there was no mention as to the code or location needed. This is an existing hospital with 3 floors. I am using NFPA 101 2012 and NFPA 72 2013 for my sources. From my reading I understand NFPA 101 is the standard used by The Joint Commission when evaluating hospitals. The building is sprinkled completely with quick response heads. There are several areas in question for smoke detectors. 


In NFPA 101 19.3.4 it discussed detection , alarm and communication. discusses initiation but does mention any specifics for smoke detection. discusses detection and in limited care facilities (not hospital)  have automatic smoke detection with exceptions listed. discusses the separation of corridors without partitions from spaces open to the corridor  unless permitted by  several listed areas which have stipulations - unlimited spaces, waiting rooms, not applicable to nurse stations, gift shops, etc. The criteria of of these areas has 2 main points either one or the other - direct supervision or automatic detection so a nurse station could eliminate the need for automatic detection if it has direct supervision.  


The basic question is - What areas in a hospital require smoke detectors? I know that has parameters to define the answer. I can find references to some locations but not to all areas i am interested in. I have references to these locations:

1) There are smoke detectors are the door holders and they release the door appropriately in alarm. NFPA 72 -

2) I am aware of the smoke alarm requirement is based on Chap. 28/29 for physician/staff sleeping rooms.

3) Smoke detectors are at the elevator for recall. NFPA 72 - 21.3.3 and 21.3.5

4) Duct detectors are installed in ducts. NFPA 72 - 17.7.4


In this hospital the stairwells have battery operated smoke alarms and system smoke detectors in them. I can find no information in the code to establish smoke detectors in the stairwell.  If you need a smoke detector in a room with no ceiling what would be the parameters for installation  or is that acceptable ? One IT room has no HVAC vents and is extremely hot and a heat detector would be needed due to the temperature. 


Some of the linen, mechanical, electrical  and IT/telcom rooms have smoke detectors. Which rooms need smoke detectors?  Some rooms like MRI had smoke detectors. 


In the corridor do we need smoke detectors or do we use referenced above to determine their requirement?


Thanks for any assistance.