RSSAuthor Archive for Brad Keyes

Brad Keyes

Brad Keyes, CHSP, is a senior consultant with The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., in Marblehead, MA. His expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs. Keyes presents at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences and teaches the Life Safety Boot Camps series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or coauthor of the following HCPro/Greeley books: Physical Environment Online: A Guide to the Joint Commission’s Safety Standards (2010), The Joint Commission Survey Coordinator's Handbook, Tenth Edition (2009), and Life Safety Compliance Manual: A Guide to the Joint Commission Standards (2008).

Computerized work orders as records

While reviewing weekly fire pump test reports for a client recently, I came across a problem that I have seen before. This client relies on their new computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to document that the fire pump is tested each week. The CMMS spits out a preventative maintenance (PM) work order each Monday, and the maintenance technician assigned to do this task goes about his job and completes the weekly test as specified. He turns in his signed and dated work order to the data entry person to have it completed in the CMMS.

However, this is where the problem begins. The data entry person may not get around to closing out the PM work order right away, and if it rolls over to the next week, he/she may enter the completion date incorrectly. On many CMMS programs, if you do not enter the actually completion date when closing a PM, it will default to the current date as the completion date. When a list of weekly tasks is generated, it could very well show that two or more weekly tests were completed in a single week, and some weeks did not have a test at all. [more]

Testing fire pumps under emergency power

I recently had a reader ask me about fire pump testing. He said that since Joint Commission does not ask to see that the hospital fire pump is tested under emergency power at peak capacity (150% of nameplate rating), then why should we perform that test?

The Joint Commission does not often (if ever) ask to see the fire pump tested under emergency power at peak capacity (150% of nameplate), even though it is a NFPA 25 requirement. However, other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) may very well expect that you comply with this requirement, such as CMS, the state department of public health, state and local fire marshals, and insurance companies.  [more]

Use of elevators during a fire situation, according to the LSC

A reader contacted me recently asking where in the Life Safety Code® (LSC) does it say that the elevators are not permitted to be used when the fire alarm is activated and there is a presumption of fire. Most of us have probably seen the signs posted in the elevator lobby that reads, “In case of fire, do not use elevators,”  so where is the requirement to post these signs? This is what the LSC says concerning the use of elevators during a fire.

In the 2000 edition of the LSC, elevators are never permitted to be used as a component in a required means of egress, and for obvious reasons, as they can be disabled in a fire situation. Section 7.2 of the LSC lists those components that are permitted to be used as a required means of egress, depending on whether or not they are allowed by the individual occupancy chapter. For healthcare occupancies, there are four components that are not allowed to be used as a required means of egress: [more]