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Approved special door locking arrangements shall be permitted in a Group I-1, I-2, R-3, or R-4 occupancy when a person's clinical needs require such locking. Special locking devices shall be permitted on doors in these occupancies when the building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with IBC Section 903.3.1.1.and an approved automatic smoke or heat detection system is installed in accordance with Section 907. The special locking arrangements and devices are permitted if they are installed and comply with the requirements in Items 1 through 10 below. Items 1 through 4 shall not apply to special locking arrangements in areas where persons who, because of clinical needs, require restraint or containment as part of the function of a psychiatric treatment area.
  1. The special locking devices shall unlock upon actuation of either the automatic sprinkler system or the automatic fire-detection system.
  2. The special locking devices shall unlock upon loss of power controlling the lock or lock mechanism.
  3. The special locking devices shall have the capability of being unlocked by a signal from the fire command center, a nursing station, or other approved location.
  4. A building occupant shall not be required to pass through more than one door equipped with a special egress lock before entering an exit.
  5. The procedures for the operations of the unlocking system shall be described and approved as part of the emergency planning and preparedness required by IFC Chapter 4.
  6. All clinical staff shall have the keys, codes, or other means necessary to operate the locking devices.
  7. Emergency lighting shall be provided at a door containing a special locking device.
  8. 24-hour patient supervision is provided within the secured area.
  9. The special locking devices are designed to fail in the open position.
  10. Floor levels within the building or portion of the building with special locking arrangements shall be divided into at least two compartments by smoke barriers meeting the requirements of Section 709.
Exception to Item #10: In existing Group R-3 occupancies where the construction of smoke barrier compartmentation is not practical, an existing sleeping room provided with smoke-tight construction and having an escape window complying with Section 1029.is allowed.

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