Changes in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 99 codes for 2018 significantly impact healthcare facilities. NFPA believes the changes are in line with its mission to eliminate death, injury and other losses due to fire hazards.
Keeping patients, staff, and visitors in mind, the NFPA Health Care Facilities Code gets specific. In earlier NFPA 99 regulations, health care facilities required fire extinguishers to be installed. The new requirements ask the same with the additional request that extinguishers be appropriate for a room’s potential hazards.
Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher
In short, different areas of healthcare facilities call for different fire extinguishers. For instance, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) rooms require materials which cannot be magnetized. NFPA 99 concludes that nonferrous-type extinguishers work best in these situations.
Outfitting operating rooms with flame-suffocates must consider the oxygen and other flammable materials present. Dry chemical extinguishers do not accomplish this task. Rather, clean agent or water mist-type materials with a Class A rating get the job done.
Telecommunications equipment requires clean agent-type materials appropriate to electrical hazards. The NFPA 76, Standard for the Fire Protection of Telecommunications Facilities backs this recommendation. A Class A rating ensures the most appropriate extinguisher for the large quantity of cables and other combustibles in these areas.
The end goal of NFPA is to eliminate death and injury. By evaluating your facility for compliance issues and correcting them, you join them in this goal. Your patients, staff, and guests are better protected from fire and electrical hazards.
The process proves simple:
The cost and inconvenience of these changes measure small when the lives protected are considered. Providing the safest environment for the occupants of your facility includes meeting NFPA 99 standards.
County Fire Protection provides support in the process of compliance with these regulations. Specific requirements list the most effective extinguishers to install in each location. The code makes recommendations based on the area an extinguisher services. Plus, annex guidance is now provided to ensure proper decisions are made.