NFPA 101: Changes to the 2005 Life Safety Code

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff July 18, 2005

Significant additions and revisions were made to NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, at the National Fire Protection Assn.’s 2005 World Safety Conference and Expo in June. Some of these important changes are outlined below, including the following:

ABHR dispensers protected IAW Section 8.7.3 unless all of the following are met:
Where installed in a corridor, min. width 72 in.
Min. horizontal spacing 48 in. from each other.
Max. individual dispenser fluid capacity:
• 1.2 L (0.32 gal) for dispensers in rooms, corridors and areas open to corridors.
• 2.0 L (0.53 gal) for dispensers in suites of rooms.
• Max. aggregate 37.8 L (10 gal) solution in a single smoke compartment when outside of a storage cabinet.
• Storage greater than 18.9 L (5 gal) in single smoke compartment shall meet NFPA 30.

Dispensers shall not be installed over or directly adjacent to an ignition source.
Dispensers installed directly over carpeted surfaces shall be permitted only in sprinklered smoke compartments.

New Section
Where min. corridor width is 72 in., projections permitted at both sides if:
• Projection depth of 6 in. max.
• Projection length of 36 in. max.
• Projection min. 40 in. above floor.
• Min. 48 in. horizontal between each

Fire-Retardant Treated Wood
New Section
• Allows FRT Wood In The Roof/Ceiling Assembly
• Type I and II Construction
• Class A Roof Covering
• Roof/Ceiling Fire Resistance as Required for Construction Type

Many problems with interpretation of requirements in previous editions.
Health Care Technical Committee appointed a “Suites Task Group” to study requirements and clean up code language.
Suites Task Group and ROP/ROC helped make Code more user friendly (clear).

Hazardous area in Suite not required to be separated where all of the following:
• Suite is a hazardous area (e.g., med. records or pharmaceutical).
• Suite protected by Smoke Detection.
• Suite is separated from remainder of facility as required for hazardous areas.
• Constant Staff Supervision of sleeping rooms from within suite.
• Sleeping Rooms Must Allow Direct Supervision (glass walls).
• Smoke Detection Required if no Direct Supervision.
• Suite Must have Smoke Detection (no change from 2003 edition).

New Annex Notes:
Where 2nd Exit from Sleeping Suite is Thru Adjacent Suite, 100 ft. Travel Distance applies only to Suite Under Consideration.
Where 2nd Exit from Non-Sleeping Suite is Thru Adjacent Suite, the Adjacent Suite is Not Considered an Intervening Room.

Fire Alarms
• Reconfirmation Features Formally Allowed by Section Could Delay Occupant Notification up to 120 seconds — No Longer Allowed.
• Positive Alarm Sequence per NFPA 72 is Permitted (Allows 180 Second Delay)
• Reconfirmation Feature is Still Allowed in Existing Health Care

Retrofit Sprinklers in Nursing Homes
New Section Requires “Buildings Containing Nursing Homes. Shall Be Protected Throughout By An Approved, Supervised Automatic Sprinkler System.”
• Proposal From the American Health Care Association.
• Direct Result of Multiple Death Fires in Hartford, Conn. and Nashville, Tenn.

Lock ups
• New Requirements: Any Occupancy Where Persons are Locked-Up must Comply with the Detention and Correctional Chapters.
• Health Care Facilities Have Been Specifically Excluded From these Requirements Because of the “Clinical Needs of the Patient”, Staff, and the Defend in Place Strategy.