Guest Blog: Fire Sprinkler Safety…

Szpytek Stan PHOTO for ColumnGood morning, ProviderNation.

Well, the much anticipated deadline of Aug. 13, 2013, has come and gone, and skilled nursing facilities are still up and operating around the nation. While many providers have taken advantage of the five years given to ensure that their nursing homes are equipped with complete fire sprinkler protection in accordance with the 1999 edition of NFPA 13, there are still facilities in each state that are either listed as “not sprinklered” or “partially sprinklered.”

CMS issued S&C-13-55-11 on Aug. 16, 2013, to specifically address this important issue. The memo outlines all the elements of the requirement, including:

  1. Background
  2. Survey and Enforcement Process After 8/13/13
  3. Scope and Severity of Deficiency Citations
  4. Examples of Enforcement Implications
  5. Canopies and Overhangs
  6. Facilities that are Building Replacements or Other Modifications
  7. Questions and Answers
  8. Listing of Non-Sprinklered / Partially Sprinklered by State

Here is a link to the document.

This memo will provide a great deal of clarification on the issues that have been outstanding in anticipation of the deadline.

Fire sprinkler systems are essential components of life safety in health care buildings of all types, as well as other buildings in which people live, work, and visit. It is essential to ensure that you are providing your SNF residents with the safest possible environment of care, one that is compliant with all fire sprinkler system regulations.

Stan Szpytek, is president of Fire and Life Safety (FLS) 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 or e-mail Szpytek at

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Filed under health care, Long term care, Post-acute care, Uncategorized

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