Hazardous Areas Compliance

The Life Safety Code® mandates special protections for hazardous areas, including storage rooms, utility rooms, boiler rooms, workshops, and laundry areas. Compliance with these requirements remains a top concern nationally.

Existing hazardous areas prior to July 2016 must be enclosed with smoke-resistant construction if sprinkler-protected, with self-closing, positive-latching doors. Post-July 2016 constructions or those lacking sprinkler protection require 1-hour fire resistance rated enclosures and self-closing, positive-latching doors.

The pandemic's emphasis on personal protective equipment (PPE) has led to unintended consequences in Life Safety Code® compliance. Some organizations, mandated to stock significant PPE quantities, repurpose existing spaces, often creating new hazardous areas.

The code offers relief for converting existing spaces into storage areas under Chapter 43 - Building Rehabilitation. If the area is ≤250 sq ft, for storage, and fully sprinklered, a 1-hour enclosure isn't necessary.

This provision in Chapter 43 allows more flexibility in reallocating space for additional storage, essential as organizations maintain larger PPE stocks. All door provisions for hazardous areas remain applicable.
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