February 29, 2012 | | Comments 0
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And your bird can sing…

One of the topics that resurfaces every once in a little while concerns those most critical documents– your life safety drawings – and what should be contained therein. If you are still uncertain about what those suckers oughta look like, I would direct your attentions to the February 2012 edition of The Joint Commission’s EC News in the “Asked and Answered” section. The laundry list of items to be included on your life safety drawings is not particularly surprising by those among us who have been advocating for a certain contingent of information. So, if you were going to air out your “dirty” life safety drawings, some items for consideration might include:

  • a legend that clearly identifies fire safety features of your building
  • identification of those areas of the building that are fully sprinkled (if your building it partially sprinkled – no need for such detail if you’re fully sprinkled)
  • the location of all of your hazardous storage areas (if you’re not sure what that entails, check out EP #2 under LS.02.01.30 and/or NFPA 101-2000: 18/19.3.2.1);
  • the locations of all your rated barriers (yes, all of them – don’t leave any out)
  • locations of all your smoke barriers
  • the boundaries of any areas that have been designated as suites – and don’t forget to include the square footage of the suites – both sleeping (maximum 5,000 square feet) and non-sleeping (maximum 10,000 square feet)
  • locations of your smoke compartments
  • the locations of any chutes and/or shafts (as opposed to chutes and ladders – that’s kids’ stuff)
  • any approved waivers or equivalencies.

A quick word about waivers and equivalencies: It’s always nice to share those ahead of time with your various “Authorities Having Jurisdiction.” A proactive approach to communications, as with most proactive approaches, will yield much goodwill. This whole thing works best as a collaborative process. No surprise on either side and you’ve got yourself a pretty good survey experience.

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Filed Under: Environment of careLife Safety Code

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Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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