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CMS Life Safety Code Reminders

  • Fire extinguishers should not be mounted over five feet from the floor to the top of the extinguisher

 Fire extinguishers having a gross weight not exceeding 40 pounds shall be installed so that the top of the fire extinguisher is not more than 5 feet above the floor.  Fire extinguishers having a gross weight greater than 40 pounds shall be so installed that the top of the fire extinguisher is not more than 3 ½ feet above the floor.  In no case shall the clearance between the bottom of the fire extinguisher and the floor be less than 4 inches.  1998 NFPA 10, 1-6.10.

  • A facility which allows smoking needs to have a metal container with a self-closing cover provided in the area.  A smokers urn, only meets the requirement of an ashtray of safe design.  Providers are under the impression that if these urns are metal that they meet the requirement of the container with a self-closing cover

Metal self-closing containers for disposing of cigarette butts and ashes from ashtrays, and ashtrays of noncombustible material and safe design, shall be provided in all areas where smoking is permitted as required in NFPA 101, 18/19.7.4.

  • Facilities need to have a zone evacuation plan in their fire emergency procedures

The administration of every health care occupancy shall have, in effect and available to all supervisory personnel, written copies of a plan for the protection of all persons in the event of a fire, for their evacuation to areas of refuge, and for their evacuation from the building when necessary.  All employees shall be periodically instructed and kept informed with respect to their duties under the plan.  A copy of the plan shall be readily available at all times in the telephone operator’s position or at the security center.  The provisions of 19.7.1.2 through 19.7.2.3 shall apply.  2000 NFPA 101, 18/19.7.1.1.

A written health care occupancy fire safety plan shall provide for the following:  1) Use of alarms 2) Transmission of alarm to the fire department 3) Response to alarms 4) Isolation of fire 5) Evacuation of immediate area 6) Evacuation of smoke compartment 7) Preparation of floors and building for evacuation, 8 Extinguishment of fire.  2000 NFPA 101, 18/19.7.2.2.

CMS website:  https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/LSC.html

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website:  http://www.nfpa.org/

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