Life Safety

Life safety restrictions regarding hand sanitizer  

With anticipation that health care providers will be greatly increasing the use of hand sanitizer and likely will be increasing the number of dispensers in use, the following life safety regulations from NFPA 101, 2012 Edition should be followed:

The requirements for alcohol based hand-rub dispensers can be found in Chapter 18/19 of the 2012 Life Safety Code:

NFPA 101, 2012 Edition* Alcohol-Based Hand-Rub Dispensers. Alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers shall be protected in accordance with, unless all of the following conditions are met:

(1) Where dispensers are installed in a corridor, the corridor shall have a minimum width of 6 ft (1830 mm).

(2) The maximum individual dispenser fluid capacity shall be as follows:

(a) 0.32 gal (1.2 L) for dispensers in rooms, corridors, and areas open to corridors

(b) 0.53 gal (2.0 L) for dispensers in suites of rooms

(3) Where aerosol containers are used, the maximum capacity of the aerosol dispenser shall be 18 oz. (0.51 kg) and shall be limited to Level 1 aerosols as defined in NFPA30B, Code for the Manufacture and Storage of Aerosol Products.

(4) Dispensers shall be separated from each other by horizontal spacing of not less than 48 in. (1220 mm).

(5) Not more than an aggregate 10 gal (37.8 L) of alcohol based hand-rub solution or 1135 oz (32.2 kg) of Level 1 aerosols, or a combination of liquids and Level 1 aerosols not to exceed, in total, the equivalent of 10 gal (37.8 L) or 1135 oz (32.2 kg), shall be in use outside of a storage cabinet in a single smoke compartment, except as otherwise provided in

(6) One dispenser complying with (2) or (3) per room and located in that room shall not be included in the aggregated quantity addressed in

(7) Storage of quantities greater than 5 gal (18.9 L) in a single smoke compartment shall meet the requirements of NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.

(8) Dispensers shall not be installed in the following locations:

(a) Above an ignition source within a 1 in. (25 mm) horizontal distance from each side of the ignition source

(b) To the side of an ignition source within a 1 in. (25mm) horizontal distance from the ignition source

(c) Beneath an ignition source within a 1 in. (25 mm) vertical distance from the ignition source

(9) Dispensers installed directly over carpeted floors shall be permitted only in sprinklered smoke compartments.

(10) The alcohol-based hand-rub solution shall not exceed 95 percent alcohol content by volume.

(11) Operation of the dispenser shall comply with the following criteria:

(a) The dispenser shall not release its contents except when the dispenser is activated, either manually or automatically by touch-free activation.

(b) Any activation of the dispenser shall occur only when an object is placed within 4 in. (100 mm) of the sensing device.

(c) An object placed within the activation zone and left in place shall not cause more than one activation.

(d) The dispenser shall not dispense more solution than the amount required for hand hygiene consistent with label instructions.

(e) The dispenser shall be designed, constructed, and operated in a manner that ensures that accidental or malicious activation of the dispensing device is minimized.

(f) The dispenser shall be tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s care and use instructions each time a new refill is installed.