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CMS has adopted the updated provisions of the National Fire Protection Association’s 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and the 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code. The new guidelines will apply to hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient hospice, and long-term care facilities. The rule was published in the Federal Register on May 4 and will go into effect July 5.
The new regulation protects patients from fire and smoke and ensures the safe design of facilities. Buildings taller than 75 feet will have 12 years to make sure automatic sprinkler systems are installed. Hospitals will have a fire watch if the sprinkler system is out of service for more than 10 hours.
Doors to corridors or rooms containing flammable or combustible materials must be provided with positive latching hardware. Roller latches are prohibited on such doors under the CMS rule. Aerosol and gel alcohol-based hand rub dispensers are permitted as long as safety requirements are met. Every sleeping room must have a window or outside door.