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Keyes Life Safety

Our Life Safety educational resource hub is full of healthcare knowledge to help you be better informed of the changing world around you. 

Rather than sit back and act on decisions made by others, we are leading the charge as it relates to identifying best practices for Life Safety Code® and compliance. We have real people that give our clients real information that can be put into practice.

Interested in reading our experts' take on Life Safety? Then subscribe to our free blog below! We discuss readers' questions, share interesting observations from the field, and more.

Construction BarrierExit SignsSurvey FindingsFire WatchConstructionSmoke DetectorsILSMSprinklersEgress

Q: What would a surveyor would be looking for if they were to show up at our hospital and find that there is construction going on? What steps would the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 10, 2020
Electrical RoomsSprinklers

Q: I am aware that there is an exception for sprinklers not to be required in a dedicated electrical room that is protected with 2-hour construction. My question: Is a …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 6, 2020
Sprinklers

Q: Our hospital recently purchased a few lactation pods like they have in airports. I can't help wondering if they need to have fire alarm notification devices and sprinklers. Has …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 9, 2020
Sprinklers

Q: We are building a new ER and an area of the existing building had to have some work done so that the new ER could connect to the old …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 4, 2020
Smoke DetectorsCeilings (Facilities Management)Sprinklers

Q: My facility is installing perforated ceiling tiles because it looks "modern" and does not look like the old healthcare setting. With the perforation in the ceiling tiles, does this …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 30, 2019
Sprinklers

Q: Is there presently a date in place in which existing Healthcare Occupancies (remaining portions or in their entirety) must be fully sprinklered? A: Yes and no. All existing high-rise …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 16, 2019
Sprinklers

Q: How would I go about cleaning the dust off the sprinkler heads? A: Use a portable vacuum cleaner. If the dirty heads are located in the kitchen, then you …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 2, 2019
Business OccupanciesElevatorsEquipment (Fire Suppression Systems)Equipment (Life Safety Code)Sprinklers

Q: In a physician’s clinic that is claimed to be fully protected with sprinklers, the building elevator control room is not sprinklered. Must I install or can I leave it …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 2, 2019
Fire AlarmSmoke DetectorsSprinklers

Q: Are there any exceptions in NFPA 13 for smoke detectors in lieu of sprinklers in areas such as radiology rooms or other high tech equipment rooms and still be …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 31, 2019
Inspection & Maintenance (Fire Suppression SysDocumentation (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: We are a life safety service company that provides consultation services for multiple hospitals. We had a hospital go through a survey recently, and the surveyor wrote them up …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 19, 2019
Clearance (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: My question is in regard to NFPA 13 sprinkler obstruction compliance...We want to install some surveillance monitors in our security office along a wall. How much vertical clear space …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 13, 2019
ArticleHVACSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... This is another picture of sprinkler pipe supported from HVAC ductwork, similar to last week's …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 25, 2019
ArticleHVACSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... Some organizations fail to install sprinklers underneath the ductwork that is 48-inches wide or wider …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 18, 2019
Documentation (Fire Suppression Systems)Spare Sprinkler ListSprinklers

Q: NFPA 13, 2010 edition, sections 6.2.9.7 & 6.2.9.7.1: Do I read this to mean every sprinkler in every room and hallway in a hospital should be on an itemized …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 15, 2019
ArticleCorridorsSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... The good news is you have an alcove in the corridor where you can store …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 14, 2019
Ceilings (Life Safety Code)ArticleSmoke DetectorsCeilings (Facilities Management)Sprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... This picture was taken in an electrical room. Where the conduits extend upwards and penetrate the suspended …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 28, 2019
ArticlePatient RoomsSprinklers

Q: Are sprinklers required in patient room lockers for existing facilities? A: No… Section 8.1.1 (7) of NFPA 13-2010 says furniture not intended for occupancy is not required to be …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 16, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... This is pretty easy to spot... A sprinkler hanger used to support copper medical gas …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 19, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... This one is confusing... You have a standard backflow preventer in the water supply line …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 21, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... This picture is a cousin to last week's picture.... you have a ball valve in …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 14, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... Ugh. How did this ever get installed? All sprinkler control valves are required to have …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 7, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things I have seen while consulting at hospitals... This may be a little difficult to see, but we have a picture of a domestic water …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 26, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things I have seen while consulting at hospitals... I used to work in the construction trades. I like to think that workers in the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 19, 2018
ArticleSprinklers

Q: Does the Life Safety code require a sprinkler under a 4' canopy? I find this hard to believe so I would like to know if you have a reference …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 6, 2018
ArticleEquipment (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: My question has to do with the pressure gauges for our fire sprinkler system. We just had some out of date pressure gauges replaced by a new sprinkler contractor …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 4, 2018
Construction BarrierFire WatchArticleSprinklers

Q: My question is about removing ceiling tiles in a construction area, and not having adequate fire protection in a 6' to 8' high ceiling plenum. The suggestion had been …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 13, 2018
ArticleStairwellsSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen when consulting at hospitals... This is an evacuation chair or sled that is hanging from a sprinkler drain pipe …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 1, 2018
Q&AWaiversSprinklers

Q: Our facility is a four story facility, and is a combination of different structures built in different years. All of the different structures are protected with sprinklers except for …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 26, 2017
Q&AStandpipe Flow TestsSprinklers

Q: We have a water-flow switch on the line that rises through a nursing wing stairwell and feeds the hose cabinets. There are no longer any hoses in the cabinets …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 29, 2017
Storage (Life Safety Code)Q&ASprinklers

Q: We have a surveyor that says if we have portable storage racks against the perimeter walls and have items stored closer than 18 inches of the ceiling but the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 16, 2017
Q&AFire AlarmAEM Program (Accreditation/Certification)Sprinklers

Q: Are sprinklers, smoke detectors, etc. considered to be operating components of the utility systems? If so, our inspections are based on the pertinent NFPA references. I think that the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 12, 2017
Q&ATesting (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: I reside in California. Do I need a special license or certificate to perform monthly and quarterly sprinkler systems tests and/or inspections? Primarily, I am interested in main drain …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 4, 2017
Q&ASprinklers

Q: How many spare sprinkler heads are we required to keep on hand in our hospital? Some people have told us we need 6 of each kind of head we …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 3, 2017
Q&ASprinklers

Q: I just had a survey and received a finding for dust on some of the sprinkler heads. I understand that foreign material is not permitted, but minute amounts of …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 19, 2017
Q&ASprinklers

Q: I listened in on your webinar when you introduced all of us to the changes with the new 2012 Life Safety Code. In regards to the section involving fire sprinklers …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 10, 2017
Q&AILSMSprinklers

Q: We have some sprinkler piping that runs the length of the hall with multiple wires wrapped around the pipe. There is no way of removing the wiring from the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 24, 2017
Q&AFire WatchConstructionSprinklers

Q: We have a construction project in our cafeteria. We have an ILSM and additional measures in place. However, it was determined last week that we need to remove the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 19, 2017
Q&AAir HandlersSprinklers

Q: Does a roof top air handler require sprinkler heads if it is unoccupied? We have large walk-in style air handlers on the roof of our hospital and they are …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 17, 2017
ArticleSprinklers

The following article is from the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) TechNotes dated December 27, 2016... Two decades ago the NFPA Committee on Automatic Sprinklers was considering a requirement that all …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 4, 2017
ArticleSprinklers

Q: Does an electrical closet under 144 square inches need a sprinkler head? A: The answer depends on your facility occupancy type and the requirements associated with that. If your …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 17, 2016
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Why does the escutcheon plate on a sprinkler need to be required when the ceiling is not rated and the corridor walls extend to the deck? If a basement …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 2, 2016
ArticleSprinklers

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals.... This picture shows an architectural design that was mounted from the ceiling to give the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 3, 2016
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Got any tips for a novice on how to navigate through the Life Safety Code? I’m interested in specifics on sprinkler placement for water curtains. A: NFPA 13 (1999 …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 18, 2015
Q&AControl ValvesSprinklers

Q: I have 3 Post Indicator Valves (PIV) and 1 Wall Post Indicator Valve (WPIV). I'm not finding anything in NFPA in regards to the testing frequency. My PIVs and …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 7, 2015
Mechanical RoomsQ&ASprinklers

Q: Do air handler mechanical rooms located at the top of a hospital, and are healthcare occupancies, require sprinkler systems? A: Yes… if the rest of the hospital is required …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 3, 2015
Q&ANursing HomeSprinklers

Q: Can you clarify for me if the elevator equipment room is required to be sprinklered and have a shunt trip installed in our nursing home. A: Yes, elevator equipment …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 31, 2015
Q&AConstructionSprinklers

Q: We have a construction project that involves removing all of the ceiling tiles in the area. Do we have to relocate the sprinklers heads to within 12" from the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 6, 2015
Shower Curtains (Life Safety Code)ArticleSprinklers

For bathrooms and shower rooms that are protected with automatic sprinklers, do the shower curtains require the same open mesh at the top as privacy curtains used in patients rooms? This …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 8, 2015
Q&ASprinklers

Q: We completed our hospital sprinkler installation in 1994, and most of the sprinklers that were installed were quick response sprinklers. Now I hear at an ASHE conference that we …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 10, 2014
ArticleSprinklers

I was conducting a mock survey at a hospital and during the building tour I came to their maintenance shop. They had a spray paint booth and in the booth was a sprinkler …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 30, 2014
Life Safety CodeArticleEquipment (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

NFPA 25 (1998 edition), section 4-3.1 has a requirement listed to test the Private Fire Service Mains once every 5 years. The standard says the test must be performed on exposed fire …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 2, 2014
ArticleTesting (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

I would like to do some research for an article that I want to write about and I am addressing this appeal to those of you who have an active role in …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 5, 2014
Q&ASprinklers

Q: During a recent survey, the life safety surveyor wrote a finding that my refrigerator and freezer walk-in coolers are not in compliance with the building having full sprinkler coverage …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 14, 2014
Q&AMain DrainTesting (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: Where are main drain tests required to be done? This is a large medical facility with nine story towers. Several fire mains feed the various campus buildings. Is the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 7, 2014
Main DrainLife Safety CodeArticleSprinklers

NFPA 25 (1998 edition) section 9-2.6 says main drain tests are to be conducted annually at each sprinkler system riser to determine if there has been a change in the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 22, 2014
Q&ASprinklers

Q: How many spare sprinkler heads are we supposed to have in stock at our facility? We had an inspection recently, and the fire marshal said we did not have …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 24, 2014
Q&ACeilings (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: I have a reception area that has a sprinkler head in the middle of a 2'x2' ceiling tile and less than twelve inches from this sprinkler head the interior …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 20, 2014
Q&ABusiness OccupanciesSprinklers

Q: We are designing a retrofit for a dental office in an existing business occupancy building without a fire sprinkler system. The space we are remodeling was formerly a doctor's …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 13, 2014
Q&ASprinklers

Q: We have an electrical room that is not protected with sprinklers and the old-timers here say the building department would not permit sprinklers in this room when the hospital …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 28, 2013
Q&ATesting (Life Safety Code)Sprinklers

Q: What is the required inspection frequency on sprinkler systems for a building classified as business occupancy? Is it less than what would be required for the main hospital? A: …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 16, 2013
Life Safety CodeArticleSprinklers

There will be significant changes for facility managers to deal with when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finally adopts the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 5, 2013
Q&ATesting (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Q: Where is the main drain test supposed to be conducted? Is it supposed to be at the sprinkler riser or low point drain? A: According to NFPA 25 Inspection, …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 10, 2013
Q&AAmbulatory Care OccupancySprinklers

Q: We are in the process of renovating an existing two story office building where a dialysis unit will be located on the lower level. According to our state requirements, …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 13, 2013
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Our project team has to do a domestic water shutdown for about 12 hours and unfortunately the water they want to shut down serves water-cooled refrigeration units in the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 8, 2013
Life Safety CodeArticleSprinklers

Why do we need the Life Safety Code? This is a question that I am frequently asked by individuals who do not understand what all the fuss is about that …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 4, 2013
Q&AFire AlarmSprinklers

Q: The 2008 edition of NFPA 25 allows vane-style waterflow switches to be tested semi-annually, but during a recent survey, the surveyor cited us for not testing them on a …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 1, 2013
ArticleSprinklers

Frequently, I am asked why do healthcare organizations need to know where their quick response (QR) sprinkler heads are located? If you facility is similar to most, then you likely …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 11, 2012
Life Safety CodeArticleSprinklers

According to the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code, main drain tests are regulated by NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 30, 2012
Inspection & Maintenance (Fire Suppression SysArticleTesting (Fire Suppression Systems)Sprinklers

Main drain tests are required by section 9.7.5 of the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code, which requires sprinklers systems to be tested and maintained according to NFPA 25 …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 28, 2012
Life Safety CodeEquivalenciesArticleSprinklersConstruction Types

This may seem basic to some of you, but one of the problems in the healthcare facilities management industry is people don't always have a good solid foundation of the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 9, 2012
ArticleSprinklers

Here's a quick quiz: How many spare sprinkler heads are you required to have on hand at your facility? If you said 6, then you would be partially correct. The …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 13, 2012
ArticleSprinklers

Which came first: The chicken or the egg? Yeah, I don't know the answer to that one either, and it is a really weak attempt of a connection to today's subject: …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 16, 2012
Q&ASprinklers

Q: We are about to install a new shelving system into a room that is protected with automatic sprinklers. I know we are supposed to maintain 18 inches clearance underneath …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 7, 2012
ArticleSprinklers

I was talking recently with a good friend of mine, Jeff Lehmann, concerning sprinkler installation in electrical equipment rooms. The topic of discussion was, if an electrical equipment room was not …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 29, 2012
ArticleSprinklers

In the pictures to the left, you will see damaged wall-mounted Fire Department Connections, or FDC for short. The FDC is an often over-looked important piece of fire protection, mainly …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 27, 2012
Q&ASprinklers

Q: I’ve read that installing sprinklers in our existing hospital, even when they are not required such as a renovation project, provides us with exceptions to the LSC. If we …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 1, 2011
Q&AElectrical RoomsSprinklers

Q: I was recently informed by an architect that an electrical equipment room does not need to be sprinkled if it has a two-hour fire resistant separation. Have you heard …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 1, 2011
Q&ASprinklers

Q: We have exposed sprinkler heads in our hospital, and the design rings around the sprinkler heads occasionally fall off and disappear. One of our sprinkler contractors said those rings …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 1, 2011
Q&ASprinklers

Q: How close can a sprinkler head be located to a wall mounted cabinet? I have some cabinets that were added after the sprinkler heads were installed, and the heads …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 1, 2011
Q&ASprinklers

Q: NFPA 13 (1999 edition) section 5-3.1.5.2 states whenever standard response sprinklers are changed to quick response type, then all of the sprinklers have to be changed in the that …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 1, 2011
Q&AElectrical RoomsSprinklers

Q: Do all electrical rooms have to have automatic sprinklers installed in them? Our electrician tells us there are exceptions to installing sprinklers in an electrical room even when the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: We have open concrete beam floor construction in our hospital, and the depth of the beams are14 inches below the deck, and they are spaced 70 inches center-to-center. The …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: During a recent survey, an inspector cited us for not having the escutcheon (trim) plates around all of our sprinkler heads. I always thought these plates were for decorative …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Like many older hospitals, we have areas with a mix of quick response sprinkler heads and standard response sprinkler heads. Are we required to go back and make them …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Is an elevator equipment room required to be sprinklered in a hospital? A consultant recently told us that NFPA 13 requires us to install sprinklers inside our elevator equipment …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Have you ever heard of patient files on shelves needing to be covered with a sheet of plastic to protect it from the sprinkler system? My VP of Accreditation …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: I have an unattached building that houses a cardiac rehab/wellness center with office space. We are converting 4900 sq ft into a day care. It is separated from the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 1, 2010
Q&ASprinklers

Q: During a recent inspection, our fire marshal said the 5-year standpipe water-flow test is required to have at least 500 gallons per minute (GPM) at the roof. We are …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 1, 2009
Q&ASprinklers

Q: Another hospital in our area recently had a survey and they were cited for communication wires that were strapped to the sprinkler pipe above the ceiling. I have not …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 1, 2009

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