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EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health


AFL 06-12
June 13, 2006


TO:
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Intermediate Care Facilities

SUBJECT:
Upcoming Compliance Date for the Installation of Emergency Lighting and the Replacement of Existing Roller Latches in Corridor Doors


On March 13, 2006 several requirements related to the adoption of the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code took effect. The purpose of this letter is a reminder for long term care facilities to comply with requirements concerning emergency light and the replacement of roller latches originally published January 10, 2003, in the Federal Register (Vol. 68, No. 7, page 1374) as a final rule entitled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities.” This regulation adopted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 - 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC), and related changes to the fire safety regulations. Initial notice of adoption of the 2000 LSC and related changes were announced May 8, 2003.

The above-mentioned regulation, which became effective March 11, 2003, gave facilities until March 13, 2006 to comply with two changes to the requirements. Those requirements included 1) replacing batteries used in emergency lighting, where required, to provide illumination for a minimum of 90 minutes; and 2) replacing roller latches commonly found in corridor doors with a positive latching device.

Failure to comply could result in deficiencies cited at a Scope/Severity level of D, E, or F depending on how widespread the deficiency is. A waiver of either of these requirements, including temporary waivers, cannot be granted due to the negative impact on the health and safety of the residents of the facility and the regulatory requirements. 
 
If you have any questions, please contact Colleen Reeves, Chief, Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification, Life Safety Code Unit at (909) 383-6702.

Sincerely,

Original Signed by Cheryl Gordon

Cheryl Gordon, Chief
Policy Section

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