Sprinklers Required in All Long-Term Care Facilities by 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a final rule Wednesday that requires all U.S. long-term care facilities to be equipped with sprinkler systems by Aug. 13, 2013. The rule also requires them to maintain their automatic sprinkler systems once they are installed.

The rule stems from the Life Safety Code, an NFPA code whose 2000 edition CMS adopted five years ago. The 2000 edition required newly constructed buildings containing health care facilities to have automatic sprinklers installed throughout the building, but it did not require existing buildings to have sprinkler systems throughout if they met certain construction standards, ranging from the size of the buildings to the types of material used in their construction. If an existing building undergoes a major renovation, it must install them in the renovated sections only.

But this changed in the 2006 edition of the code, when NFPA decided to include a sprinkler system requirement for all long-term care facilities. "We support the NFPA in its decision. We decided to proceed with this rule, without proposing adoption of the NFPA 2006 edition of the LSC, because we want to avoid further delay in requiring an automatic sprinkler system in long term care facilities," CMS said in yesterday’s final rule, which mentions a Government Accountability Office report ("Nursing Home Fire Safety: Recent Fires Highlight Weaknesses in Federal Standards and Oversight," GAO-04-660, July 16, 2004, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04660.pdf) that examined the 2003 long-term care facility fires in Hartford and Nashville that killed 31 residents.

That report recommended stronger fire safety standards for unsprinklered facilities. As an interim step, CMS in 2006 began requiring long-term care facilities, at minimum, to install battery-operated smoke detectors in residents’ sleeping rooms and public areas unless they had a hard-wired smoke detector system in resident rooms and public areas or a sprinkler system installed throughout the facility.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2019

    June 2019

    Featuring:

    • ASSP SAFETY 2019 PREVIEW
      New Orleans Networking
    • NATION SAFETY MONTH
      Heed These Summer Safety Tips
    • TRAINING
      Education, Skill Development, and Behavior Change
    • SAFETY MANAGEMENT
      What Good Looks Like
    View This Issue

Bulwark Quiz