Use of the Fire Safety Evaluation System (FSES), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101A, Guide on Alternative Approaches to Life Safety, 2013 Edition by Health Care Occupancies and Board and Care Occupancies
• Fire Safety Requirements: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted the 2012 Life Safety Code (LSC) and the 2012 Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC) through regulation (see 81 FR 26872, 5/4/16), effective July 5, 2016. CMS has adopted changes through regulation to allow existing Medicare or Medicaid certified Nursing Facilities (NF)/Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) before July 5, 2016 that previously used the FSES for compliance, to use the scoring values in the mandatory values chart in NFPA 101, 2001 edition (see 87 CFR 47502, 8/3/22), effective October 1, 2022. • FSES Edition to be USED to Meet Fire Safety Requirements: If the FSES is being used to demonstrate compliance with the fire safety requirements, the version of the FSES for Health Care Occupancies and Board and Care Occupancies found in the 2013 edition of the Guide on Alternative Approaches to Life Safety, NFPA 101A must be used. A facility that achieves a passing score on the 2013 edition of the FSES will be considered to meet the fire safety requirement for certification and recertification with the Medicare and Medicaid programs. If an existing NF/SNF had an approved FSES on record prior to July 5, 2016 the NF/SNF may use the mandatory values in NFPA 101A, 2001 edition, to meet the fire safety requirements for recertification. • Survey Start Date: CMS began surveying for compliance with the 2012 LSC and HCFC on November 1, 2016. Facilities may now use NFPA 101A, 2013 edition, of the FSES. As of October 1, 2022, existing NF/SNF certified and with a previously approved FSES prior to July 5, 2016 may now use the mandatory values in NFPA 101A, 2001 edition. • Time Limited Waiver for Corrective Action: Time limited waivers previously allowed for existing NF/SNF that had an FSES on record prior to July 5, 2016 are rescinded with the adoption of the FSES mandatory values in NFPA 101A, 2001 edition.