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The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) require participating skilled nursing facilities to comply with the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association 101-2012 Edition, commonly referred to as the Life Safety Code (LSC) as well as the NFPA 99 – 2012 edition known as the Health Care Facilities Code. These codes are a comprehensive set of requirements, which provide nursing home residents a high level of safety and security due to the nature of illness, impairment and the inability to self-evacuate in an emergency.
There are specific occupancy chapters of the LSC which apply to your center. Facilities certified originally before July 5, 2016 are considered existing and Chapter 19 applies. Facilities that have been certified after July 5, 2016 are addressed as new facilities and then Chapter 18 applies. The Life Safety and Health Care Facilities Codes themselves are not all inclusive and often reference other editions of NFPA codes.
A number of issues have arisen based on the requirements of the NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code. NFPA 99 establishes criteria for systems in nursing facilities such as gas and vacuum, electrical, etc. The requirements, however, generally are applied only to new construction and new equipment. Several chapters begin with specifying which criteria are applicable to existing facilities. Generally, existing facility systems are permitted to remain, even if they are not in strict compliance with the code, unless the authority having jurisdiction determines that their continued use constitutes a distinct hazard to life. If facilities are consider altering, modernizing or replacing equipment, the ‘new’ system or individual component are required to meet the installation and equipment requirements stated in NFPA 99.
The tips are for individual deficiencies which have been frequently cited across the U.S. The tips provided are intended for reference only. If you have further questions, refer to the applicable NFPA Code manuals and/or please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.