Health care facilities are in constant use. Equipment is always moving and storage is tight. It can be difficult to keep egress corridors clear on a regular basis. This is one reason the Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) prescribed by the Joint Commission require daily inspection of any egress routes. There are some important questions to be clear on when it comes to what can and can’t be in an egress access corridor:
What about storage?
Items cannot be stored in egress access corridors. If there are alcoves or designated storage areas that do not infringe with the corridor itself, items can be stored here – so long as none of the items infringe on the corridor.
Furthermore, an area up to 50 square feet at the end of an egress access corridor can be used for items that are non-combustible. This area similarly must not infringe on the egress corridor, stairwell entry, or egress from other rooms onto the corridor.
What about items in-use?
There are many items in-use that can be temporarily stored in an egress access corridor. In-use is typically limits any idle time to 30 minutes or less. It also means the full corridor width isn’t blocked. There should still be reasonable room to move and wheel patients through the area. Computers on wheels are one such item allowed to be in an egress access corridor while temporarily in-use.
Are there permanent in-use items?
Only certain emergency medical equipment is considered permanently in-use, and can be stored in egress access corridors. This usually refers to crash carts. When a particular patient needs access to them, isolation carts and chemotherapy carts can also be considered permanently in-use.
If an emergency occurs all equipment that’s in-use, either permanently or temporarily, must be moved off the egress access corridor in a way that does not impede anyone’s movement to the corridor.
Building reports for health care facilities can aid you in ensuring compliance and maintaining accreditation. You can identify areas where you can improve, whether it’s clarifying procedures, ensuring staff accountability, or implementing new procedures to improve a process. Building reports for health care facilities are a way to better maintain your accreditation.