Safety

Q&A: The new Life Safety Code brings changes to the HFAP standards manual

Hospital Safety Insider, December 8, 2016

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Editor’s note: The following is a Q&A excerpted from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and Accreditation Association for Hospitals/Health Systems (AAHHS) webinar, titled “Changes to Accreditation Requirements for Ambulatory Surgical Centers Chapter 5: Physical Environment.” The webinar covers how the adoption of the Life Safety Code® by CMS has changed the 2017 HFAP manual. Speaker Brad Keyes, CHSP, HFAP’s engineering advisor on all issues involving emergency management, physical environment, and life safety, provides the answers.

Q: Can you explain the intent for the five-year private fire service mains?

Brad Keyes: I think you’re referring to the internal inspection of the sprinkler piping, and I don’t want to speak on behalf of the NFPA technical committee. But, my understanding of why they require that now is [because] the older systems are having foreign material in the pipes: gunk, slime, rocks, things that might cause an impairment to the sprinkler head.

Now it’s a requirement that once every five years we do a spot inspection looking for foreign material. Quite honestly, in some situations they’ve found rags and tools left in the pipes by the installers. That’s my understanding of why it’s a requirement now.

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