The perfect gift for your maintenance team: Life Safety Code compliance
As an administrator or executive director of a long-term care facility, have you been struggling to find the perfect gift for your maintenance director and the facilities management crew?
I suggest that you consider providing your team with a brand-spanking new copy of the 2012 edition of NFPA 101, The Life Safety Code to provide the gift of advanced knowledge of what’s coming in terms of life safety compliance. If your maintenance and facilities management crew have been really good this past year, you may even want to go all out and get them the Life Safety Code Handbook Set (2012 edition) which includes a copy of the code as well as the handbook.
Why is now the best time to replace that well-worn copy of the 2000 edition? Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and many state and local jurisdictions are still basing their enforcement on the 2000 edition of the code, CMS has indicated that it will adopt and enforce the 2012 edition of NFPA 101 at some point in the future.
The Life Safety Code Handbook (LSC) is an excellent resource guide that in my opinion should be on the desk of every maintenance director or facilities management administrator responsible for life safety code compliance. The handbook is extremely comprehensive and provides a multitude of illustrations and practical examples along with a great deal of explanatory information pertaining to each section of the code.
You can be sure that there is a copy of the LSC Handbook in the surveyors’ office, so there should be a copy of this material at your facility, as well. As a retired fire marshal, the LSC Handbook was one of my essential tools of the trade.
There are several changes in the 2012 edition of The Life Safety Code that your team needs to be familiar with. Long Term Living featured some of these changes in an earlier article when CMS first announced it is intention to adopt a newer edition of the code a few years ago.
Providing your team with the right reference material is an essential element of LSC compliance. To confuse matters even more, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has published a 2015 edition of the code, but this is not the edition of the code that will be adopted and enforced by CMS.
Stay tuned for updates on when CMS and your state’s health department will be officially adopting and enforcing the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code.
Stan Szpytek is the president of consulting firm Fire and Life Safety, Inc., in Mesa, Arizona, and is the Life Safety/Disaster Planning Consultant for the Arizona Health Care Association and California Association of Health Facilities. Szpytek is a former deputy fire chief and fire marshal with more than 35 years of experience in life safety compliance and emergency preparedness. For more information, visit www.emallianceusa.com or email Szpytek at Firemarshal10@aol.com.
Topics: Executive Leadership , Operations , Risk Management