Risk of fire can be greater in assisted living facilities and convalescent homes due to the high number of seniors and individuals with disabilities living in these types of facilities. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) found that adults age 65 or older are twice as likely to be injured or killed in a fire.
Ensuring a safe facility that also meets the standards and regulations set by both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Georgia State Fire Marshal is critical to the safety and sustainability of assisted living facilities and convalescent homes.
Requirements for assisted living facilities/ convalescent homes
There are specific fire protection requirements for assisted living facilities, specifically those receiving Medicaid/Medicare funding. It is a requirement that these facilities must be in compliance with NFPA 101 Life Safety Code (LSC) and NFPA 99 Healthcare Facilities Code (HCFC) requirements.
An example of these specific standards would be NFPA 13, the standard for the installation of sprinkler systems. Under this standard, certain sized rooms are exempt from requiring sprinklers when designing the system. CMS states that for a facility to be considered fully sprinkled and fully in compliance, all areas within the occupancy shall be protected by sprinklers. All exemptions allowed in other standards like NFPA 13 do not apply.
Life and safety requirements are the same for assisted living facilities and convalescent homes regardless of the type of facility. Building owners are primarily responsible for any incident that occurs, which is why it is crucial to have an adequate inspection program and compliance schedule.
Implications of using an inexperienced fire protection company
CMS oversees and regulates nursing homes within the Federal Government and approve all re-imbursement and issue payments for these facilities. This funding is given pending compliance with all their regulations. If an assisted living facility is not compliant, they risk:
• Fire Code citations
• Possibility of losing funding/receiving fund cut
• Federal/state officials take your license if facility fails to meet standards.
Using an inexperienced fire protection company could cost an assisted living facility their funding, or worse. It’s critical that the company has both experience and understanding of both state and federal regulations to ensure the safety and compliance of a facility.
Why trust Fire Systems, Inc.?
Our structure is set up to accommodate the scheduling and reporting required to maintain compliance. When deficiencies are found, our system quickly provides a solution and cost to correct them.
The state Fire Marshal is responsible for the enforcement and reports back to CMS with all findings. The Fire Marshall will then issue K-Tags when a facility is out of compliance. Missed inspections, sub-standard/outdated reports, and uncorrected deficiencies are common violations.
Our system is setup to help our clients avoid those costly oversights. K-Tags are a big deal. Funding is cut off from CMS if the infraction is not corrected, usually within 45 days from the time of issuance. Assisted living facilities/convalescent homes count on the CMS re-imbursement to cover their costs and make a profit.
Fire Systems has over 30 years’ experience working with CMS and the Georgia State Fire Marshal. We are also knowledgeable in frequency and the required life safety inspections for your facility.
Families and residents will have peace of mind once your facility adopts the right fire safety measures. Contact us at 770-333-7979 or visit our website to schedule a FREE site survey.