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Long Term Care Sprinkler Deadline Extended (Federal Register)

August 13, 2013 – the date that all LTC faSprinkler Requirementcilities were required to have fully automated sprinkler systems – came and went with many facilities unable to meet the deadline. On November 15, CMS issued a memo where the agency maintained its position that it could not grant extensions and that enforcement actions would be taken. Well, in a final rule issued in Monday’s Federal Register, it was noted that LTC facilities are now able to apply for a deadline extension, not to exceed 2 years, if certain circumstances are met. The specific circumstances that apply include:

  • The facility is in the process of replacing its current building or undergoing major modifications in all unsprinklered living areas and that requires the movement of the corridor, room, partition, or structural walls or supports to improve the living conditions for residents, in addition to the installation of a sprinkler system;
  • The facility demonstrates that it has made the necessary financial commitments to complete the building replacement or modification;
  • The facility has submitted construction or modification plans to the State and local authorities that are necessary for approval of the replacement building or modification prior to applying for the deadline extension; and
  • The facility agrees to complete interim steps to improve fire safety of the building while the construction is being completed, as determined by CMS. This could include a fire watch, installation of temporary exists and temporary smoke detection systems, or additional smoke detection systems in the area of construction, increased fire safety inspections, additional training and awareness by staff, and additional fire drills