In the case of a power failure, Long Term Care residences are required to have backup power readily available to meet the safety standards and comfort needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
Whether you are designing, installing, or simply servicing backup power generation assets, there are several regulations or standards that you should be aware of in Canada and the Province of Ontario.
CSA 282-15 Emergency electrical power supply for buildings
This standard applies to the design, installation, operation, maintenance, and testing of emergency generators and associated equipment for providing an emergency electrical power supply to electrical loads:
- in buildings and facilities when the normal power supply fails and an emergency electrical power supply is required by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC); and,
- of essential electrical systems, where emergency generators are intended for use in health care facilities (HCFs) in accordance with Clause 6 of CSA Z32.
National Building Code of Canada 2015 Volume 1 Division B
Generally, the important sections of the NBCC are as follows:
22.214.171.124 - Emergency Power for Fire Alarm Systems
126.96.36.199 – Emergency Power for Building Services
188.8.131.52 –Emergency Power Installations
CSA Z32-15 Electrical safety and essential electrical systems in health care facilities
This standard separates healthcare facilities (HCF) into the following three classes, and is the responsibility of the facility executive branch or administrator to determine:
HCF, Class A – a facility, designated as a hospital by the government of Canada or the government of a Canadian province or territory, where patients are accommodated on the basis of medical need and are provided with continuing medical care and supporting diagnostic and therapeutic services.
Note: Class A facilities include acute and complex care.
HCF, Class B – a facility whose residents cannot function independently because of a physical or mental disability and are accommodated because they require daily care by health care professionals.
Note: Class B facilities provide, e.g., extended, multi-level, hospice, psychiatric, or intermediate care. The definition includes rehabilitation facilities.
HCF, Class C – a facility where ambulatory patients are accommodated on the basis of medical need and are provided with supportive, diagnostic, and treatment services.
Note: Class C facilities include, e.g., outpatient and surgical clinics, dental offices, doctors’ clinics, private residences, and group homes.
The list of code references above is by no means complete or all-encompassing. Each new construction project should be considered on its own merit keeping these codes and standards in mind.
If you are designing a new residence, you should refer to the NBCC, CSA 282-15 and CSA Z32-15.
If you are dealing with standby power in an existing facility, you should refer to the CSA 282 in terms of inspections and record keeping.