The Joint Commission's New Life Safety Requirements for Business Occupancy in Health Care


Healthcare professional working in a business occupancy space.

These new standards mark the first time that the accreditation process will include Life Safety requirements that are applicable to business occupancy areas in healthcare facilities.

In December of 2020, The Joint Commission issued new life safety code requirements for business occupancies in healthcare. The new requirements will take effect July 1, 2021, for organizations that are accredited through Hospital, Critical Access Hospital and Behavioral Health and Human Services programs.


The new standards address building and fire protection features that are designed and maintained to minimize the effects of fire, smoke, and heat. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Fire rated doors, barriers and partitions

  • Protection of vertical openings

  • Protection of pipes, conduits, cables and more with approved fire rated material

  • Clearing means of egress for fire emergencies


These new standards mark the first time that the accreditation process will include Life Safety requirements that are applicable to business occupancy areas in healthcare facilities.

According to the NFPA, a health care business occupancy is an area where there are no overnight stays and where three or less individuals are cared for and rendered incapable of self-preservation at any given time by the virtue of their treatment. Once a building is considered to be a business occupancy the new Life Safety requirements for business occupancy will apply.


The Joint Commission has recommended that facilities create a Building Maintenance Program as a best practice measure to address these areas. Building Maintenance Programs created to address these areas and issues must be structured to meet the new and existing compliance standards. For a complete list of the new standards and their requirements visit The Joint Commission’s website.


Barrier Compliance Services can assist your healthcare facility with identifying deficiencies in these areas prior to your next survey. Using a containment-contractor like Barrier that provides assessments and utilizes highly trained and certified in-house employees for field installation and remediation, ensures your healthcare facility will receive quality service, as well as, insights that allow you to control your schedule, cost and compliance.


Call Barrier Compliance Services today (913) 905-2695 or fill out our form here to proactively identify deficiencies in your healthcare facility's business occupancy areas.



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