Medical Gas Room Signage Requirements

The 2012 Edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, as adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission states that medical gas storage and administration areas are required to comply with the 2012 Edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code. NFPA 99 requires rooms that store nonflammable medical gases with a volume totaling greater than 3,000 ft3 to be stored in a 1-hour fire resistance rated room (NFPA 99 (2012),  In addition to this requirement, these rooms are required to be provided with signage that notes the storage of oxidizing gases and positive pressure gases within.

A common finding on regulatory surveys is that medical gas rooms are not provided with signage that meets the requirements of both NFPA 99 and the 2010 Edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Opening Protectives (based on NFPA 80 Section relative to the total area of signs).  When facilities are cited for inadequate signage, the signs created to resolve this deficiency often overlook the requirements for signage on fire rated doors, which results in the creation of noncompliant signs and ultimately, continued risk on regulatory surveys.

When creating signage for medical gas storage rooms the following code requirements should be considered to ensure that all applicable codes are accounted for:

Medical Gas Signage Requirements for fire-rated rooms (NFPA 99):

11.3.4 Signs. A precautionary sign, readable from a distance of 1.5m (5ft), shall be displayed on each door or gate of the storage room or enclosure The sign shall include the following wording as a minimum:



NO SMOKING Locations containing positive pressure gases other than oxygen and medical air shall have their doors(s) labeled as follows:

Positive Pressure Gases

NO Smoking or Open Flame

Room May Have Insufficient Oxygen

Open Door and Allow Room to Ventilate Before Opening Locations containing central supply systems or cylinders containing only oxygen and medical air shall have their door(s) labeled as follows:

Medical Gasses

NO Smoking or Open Flame

Signage Requirements on Fire Doors (NFPA 80): The total area of all attached signs shall not exceed 5 percent of the area of the face of the fire door to which they are attached Means of Attachment. Signs shall be attached to fire doors by use of an adhesive Mechanical attachments such as screws or nails shall not be permitted Signs shall not be installed on glazing material in fire doors Signs shall not be installed on the surface of fire doors so as to impair or otherwise interfere with the proper operation of the fire door.

The above requirements are based on the 2012 Edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, as adopted and enforced by the CMS and Joint Commission. State and Local codes which may adopt newer versions of these NFPA codes should also be referenced. If you have questions regarding how to apply these requirements to your project, please contact us at



Application of any information provided, for any use, is at the reader’s risk and without liability to Code Red Consultants. Code Red Consultants does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in this blog as applicable codes and standards change over time. The application, enforcement and interpretation of codes and standards may vary between Authorities Having Jurisdiction and for this reason, registered design professionals should be consulted to determine the appropriate application of codes and standards to a specific scope of work.