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NFPA resources for CMS requirements

Since 1970, the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has mandated compliance with various editions of NFPA 101® Life Safety Code®. In 2016, CMS issued two significant rules, one of which is to use an updated edition of NFPA 101 to measure life safety compliance in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and certain residential board and care occupancies. The second rule implements a completely new set of provisions dealing with emergency preparedness for essentially all of the provider types regulated under the CMS umbrella. 

CMS requires providers to develop emergency preparedness plans

The September 16, 2016, CMS announcement about its emergency preparedness rule that will require a coordinated set of requirements to be established by the various providers governed under the rule. The emergency preparedness spectrum extends to the public who rely on the various organizations that provide different levels of medical and social wellness care as well as to the staff and physical plant assets that are part of the delivery system. The regulations are in effect as of November 15, 2016 and the implementation date is November 15, 2017. Per the rule, hospitals, transplant centers, critical access hospitals and long term care facilities must carefully evaluate their emergency and standby power systems.  Specifically, they must be inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with the 2010 edition of NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, as well as the 2012 editions of both NFPA 99 and NFPA 101.

Free tool: Download matrix to help those impacted gain familiarity with CMS expectations and requirements.


CMS requires health care facilities to meet requirements of 2012 editions of NFPA 101® and NFPA 99

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities that requires health care facilities to migrate from using the 2000 edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code to the 2012 edition, and mandates compliance with provisions of the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code.

Since 1970, hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical centers and related facilities have needed to demonstrate that their fire and life safety programs satisfied different editions of NFPA 101 in order to meet the requirements of the Conditions of Participation (COP), as defined by CMS. Health care providers that participate in federal reimbursement programs are required to meet the COP expectations. Health care facilities are expected to update and comply with the 2012 editions of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99 by July 5, 2016. CMS notice on transition dates for enforcement of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99.

Additional training

 Certification programs

  • Certified Fire Inspector I (CFI-I)
    Candidates for the CMS Surveyor training program may first be required to obtain the Certified Fire Inspector I certification. 
  • Certified Life Safety Specialist (CLSS-HC)
    NFPA developed this certification for health care facility managers based on the 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code. It is designed specifically for managers and staff responsible for working with CMS Surveyors. Note: CMS requires Surveyor candidates obtain the Certified Fire Inspector I (CFI-I) certification.

Edward Browne, vice president of Cambridge Health Alliance, talks about the creation and value of NFPA's Certified Life Safety Specialist certification.

Additional codes and resources