NFPA 99 para. 3.3.138 defines a patient area as "any portion of a health care facility wherein patients are intended to be examined or treated." [1] Other areas include:

Critical Care Areas[]

"Those special care units, intensive care units, coronary care units, angiography laboratories, cardiac catheterization laboratories, delivery rooms, operating rooms, postanesthesia recovery rooms, emergency departments, and similar area5 in which patients are intended to be subjected to inva5ive procedures and connected to lineoperated, patient-care-related electrical appliances."[2]

General CareAreas[]

"Patient bedrooms, examining rooms, treatment rooms, clinics, and similar areas in which it is intended that the patient will come in contact with ordinary appliances such as a nurse-call system, electric beds, examining lamps, telephones, and entertainment devices."[3]

Wet Locations[]

"The area in a patient care area where a procedure is performed that is normally subject to wet conditions while patients are present including standing fluids on the floor or drenching of the work area, either of which condition is intimate to the patient or staff."[4] Typical areas included are housekeeping, bathrooms with installed GFCIs and physical therapy locations.


Below are some typical example areas that are excluded from safety inspections.

  • Business/Administrative offices
  • Corridors
  • Lounges
  • Day rooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Provider Offices
  • Break Rooms


  1. National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 99. "Standards for HealthCare Facilities". 2005 Ed.
  2. (NFPA) 99. "Standards for HealthCare Facilities". 2005 Ed.
  3. (NFPA) 99. "Standards for HealthCare Facilities". 2005 Ed.
  4. (NFPA) 99. "Standards for HealthCare Facilities". 2005 Ed.


See also[]