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New Proposal Would Require Sprinklers In All Nursing Homes



All long-term care facilities would be required to be equipped with automatic sprinkler systems to improve fire safety, according to a new rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)


All long-term care facilities would be required to be equipped with automatic sprinkler systems to improve fire safety, according to a new rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Citing two long-term care facility fires in 2003 in Nashville and Hartford that resulted in 31 deaths, CMS says that automatic sprinkler systems would limit the scope of a developing fire and prevent the fire from spreading beyond the area where it started.

Under existing CMS regulations, newly constructed nursing homes and nursing homes undergoing major renovations, alterations or modernizations must be equipped with sprinkler systems. Currently, older homes are not required to have such systems.

"While new facilities must already meet sprinkler requirements, this proposed rule would require all nursing homes to do so," says Leslie Norwalk, acting administrator of CMS. "We appreciate the collaboration of the National Fire Protection Association and stakeholders throughout the industry in making these safety improvements as soon as possible."

The agency estimates the cost to long-term care facilities would be $47.8-$69.9 million, $73.5-107.5 million, and $107.7-157.6 million based on phase-in periods of ten years, seven years and five years, respectively. The agency is especially interested in receiving comments about the phase-in period for installing automatic sprinkler systems.

Comments on the proposed rule are due Dec. 26.

More information about the rule can be found on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Web site.




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  posted on 10/30/2006   Article Use Policy




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