Categorical Waiver for Power Strips Use in Patient Care Areas
• Categorical Waiver: CMS has determined that the 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101® Life
Safety Code (LSC) contains provisions on the use of power strips in health care facilities that may result in unreasonable
hardship for providers or suppliers. Further, an adequate alternative level of protection may be achieved by compliance with
the 2012 edition of the LSC, which has extended allowances on the use of power strips in patient care areas.
o CMS is permitting a categorical waiver to allow for the use of power strips in existing and new health care facility patient
care areas, if the provider/supplier is in compliance with all applicable 2012 LSC power strip requirements and with all other
2000 LSC electrical system and equipment provisions.
o Resident rooms in long-term care or other residential care facilities that do not use line-operated electrical appliances
for diagnostic, therapeutic, or monitoring purposes are not subject to the more restrictive NFPA 99 requirements regarding
the use of power strips in patient care areas/rooms. Resident rooms using line-operated patient-care-related electrical equipment
in the patient care vicinity must comply with the NFPA 99 power strip requirement and may elect to utilize this categorical
• Individual waiver applications are not required: Providers and suppliers are expected to have written documentation that
they have elected to use the waiver. A provider or supplier must notify the LSC survey team at the entrance conference that
it has elected the use the waiver permitted under this guidance and that it meets the applicable waiver requirements. The
survey team will review the information and confirm the facility meets the conditions for the waiver.