Barrier Management – Defending the Safety of Patients, Visitors, & Staff


pic_tinsley_rick150x180Rick Tinsley

Life Safety Services

Thirty-eight years of facility management experience, Tennessee Healthcare Engineering Association President 2 years, Secretary/Treasurer 3 years, and presented the Dan Roop Award by his THEA peers for contributions to THEA.

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Barrier Management – Defending the Safety of Patients, Visitors, & Staff

Some people think of barrier management as just sticking some red caulk in a hole in the wall. Barrier management is a system of rated assemblies that include the wall construction material, sealants for gaps & penetrations, dampers, and doors. These assemblies not only protect occupants and structures from fire and smoke but also can be useful for infection control, safety, and security if they have been maintained and are working properly.

NFPA and IBC codes include required inspections and documentation for barrier walls, smoke/fire dampers and doors. With the adoption of the 2012 Edition of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code by CMS, more emphasis is being placed on barrier management and being surveyed more thoroughly.

This session will provide information on code & standard required inspections, testing, and documentation to maintain the effectiveness of the barriers. Specific code references will be given to help the attendee understand the requirements like what is required, how to meet the requirement, and for future references. Also included are real world answers to the question of why the maintenance of each individual assembly is important other than “the AHJ makes us do it”. This helps the attendee understand the intent of the code, why it was written, and how it helps to protect occupants and structures.

Another part of the session is how you can use your normally passive dampers and doors as defensive devices for other safety and security uses such as bio hazards, storms, and active shooters. Walls without penetrations can help with infection control and bio hazards like chemical spills. Properly closing smoke dampers can also be used to help prevent the spread of a bio hazard in an emergency situation. Properly latching fire doors can be used proactively at the beginning of a severe storm or tornado warning to help protect occupants in a severe weather event if part of the building is compromised. Properly latching fire doors in corridors also help to protect occupants during an intruder situation by reducing line of site shootings and slowing the intruder down by having to stop and open doors instead of wide open corridors that they can see down and run from one end to the other.

This is a lecture PowerPoint type presentation with encouragement for audience participation during and after the presentation. Humor and interaction with the attendees help keep the session from being one of those bla, bla, bla hour long naps. The session includes information for all levels of facility management and is presented by a retired healthcare facility management director with CHFM and CHEP certifications.