Changes to NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Regarding Cooking
While there were a lot of changes to the 2012 NFPA Life Safety Code, there were a few notable changes concerning long term care facilities. Most of these new regulations address items in the corridors of these facilities. The changes were brought about as a result of the NFPA realizing that prohibition of items in corridors is not feasible in the real world - as anyone who has ever visited a hospital or long term facility can attest to. These new changes to the code address this issue and define rules and regulations that long term care facilities can reasonably follow.
While some sections were updated and edited, there were a few newer sections to the Life Safety Code that directly addressed cooking in long term care facilities particularly cooking near or in corridors. It is this area that we will cover today.
Equipment for Food Warming or Limited Cooking Regulations
In Section 18/126.96.36.199.2, it states that residential cooking equipment used for food warming or limited cooking does not require protection in accordance with Section 9.2.3, which requires compliance with NFPA 96. It also states that the presence of the food warming equipment does not require that the area be protected as a hazardous area. It’s important to note that this new section is strictly in regards to “equipment used for food warming or limited cooking” like mobile heated food cabinets.
Cooking Facility Open to Corridor Regulations
Section 18/188.8.131.52.3 states that where residential or commercial cooking equipment is used to prepare meals for 30 or fewer persons in a smoke compartment, one cooking facility shall be permitted to be open to the corridor, provided that certain fire protection regulations are met. These fire protection regulations state that the range hood must cover 100% of the range cooking surface and must have a minimum 500 cfm airflow. If the range is not ducted to the exterior, it must have a charcoal filter. The range must also have a power deactivation switch that is locked or in a restricted location.
There also must be a fire suppression system with a manual release that is able to turn off all fuel and electrical power to the range. The suppression system must comply with UL 300 or UL 300A. The last requirement is that there must be two smoke alarms installed near the cooking equipment but not closer than 20 feet.
Cooking Facility Within a Smoke Compartment Regulations
Section 18/184.108.40.206.4 is similar in wording to Section 18/220.127.116.11.3 but does not state that the cooking facility shall be allowed to be open to the corridor in a smoke compartment. The section states that within a smoke compartment, residential or commercial cooking equipment that is used to prepare meals for 30 or fewer persons shall be permitted, provided that the cooking facility complies with all the fire protection regulations stated in Section 18.104.22.168.3 with the exception of requiring two smoke alarms. The cooking facility must also be separated from the corridor.
When interpreting Section 18/22.214.171.124.3 and Section 18/126.96.36.199.3 together, they state that multiple cooking facilities used to prepare meals for 30 or fewer persons may be allowed in one smoke compartment but only one cooking facility may be open to the corridor in the smoke compartment.
Is Your Long Term Care Facility In Compliance with the Changes to NFPA 101?
If you have questions about NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and other regulations and whether your long term care facility is in compliance, contact Koorsen Fire & Security today. We can provide a free mock life safety regulatory inspection that is applicable to Joint Commission, HIFAP, and State Board of Health. We will ensure that you are meeting all regulations and that your facility, your residents, and your staff are safe.