CMS says updated fire codes effective July 5

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is gearing up to enact its recently finalized fire safety updates for long-term care facilities.

In a letter sent Monday to state survey agency directors, the agency said that the recently updated codes will become effective on July 5, 2016, with compliance surveys beginning on November 1, 2016.

The finalized rule relaxes some safety requirements for long-term care facilities to give providers more flexibility and make the atmosphere for residents more homelike.

The updates also required facilities in buildings taller than 75 feet to install automatic sprinkler systems within 12 years of the rule's effective date, if they haven't already.