Sealing Temporary Penetrations with EZ-Path®
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced healthcare facilities to become even more resourceful. Facilities are relocating equipment traditionally contained within the patient room such as IVs, Infusion Pumps, and patient monitoring equipment, into the corridor in an attempt to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce the frequency of contact between nurses and infected patients. We have been asked by many facilities whether EZ-Path devices could be installed as a permanent pathway for various temporary service runs such as extension cords or infusion pump tubing as they pass from the patient’s room into the corridor.
EZ-Path devices have always been a great choice for sealing temporary penetrations. Stadiums and casinos have used EZ-Path devices to seal beverage lines for soda, beer, and spirits in remote beverage dispensing systems where the lines must be changed frequently. There are also a myriad of deployments where frequently modified temporary electrical lines and extension cords must traverse fire or smoke rated assemblies, making EZ-Path a great choice. Figure 1 shows the EZ-Path Series 33 Fire-Rated Pathway used in a fire-rated application. Figure 2 shows the EZ-Path 44NEZ Smoke & Acoustical Pathway used in a non-fire-rated smoke partition.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen healthcare facilities adopting the use of both the original EZ-Path Fire Rated Pathway and the EZ-Path Smoke and Acoustical Pathway for sealing these temporary service penetrations into the corridor from patient rooms. The devices allow for services to be routed through a corridor wall, while always maintaining a rated seal. The self-sealing design automatically adjusts to accommodate for the addition or removal of services without requiring manual intervention or activation, eliminating the potential hazard of unsealed openings existing between the corridor and patient room whether for smoke, flames, particulate dust/air, or noise (i.e. STC Ratings).
For walls that are fire-rated, the EZ-Path Series 22, 33, or 44+ are an excellent choice for providing a pass through for these temporary services while still maintain consistent performance (Figure 3).
For non-fire-rated walls, the Series 33NEZ or 44NEZ offer the same great ability to provide a seal 100% of the time while also allowing for the routing of temporary services with the added advantage of being installed flush with wall surfaces (Figure 4).
UPDATE: This post was originally published on April 28th of 2020 and has been updated to reflect new device developments in this space. The new post can be found here.