Senators introduce new fire sprinkler legislation

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Providers expressed approval for new legislation that would make fire sprinkler systems mandatory in every nursing home.

Sen. Christoper Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are sponsoring The Nursing Home Fire Safety Act of 2006. It parallels a House bill introduced in 2005 by U.S. Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Peter King (R-NY). Both pieces of legislation require that all existing nursing homes be equipped with automatic fire sprinklers. They also offer low interest loans and grants to help nursing homes retrofit older facilities with sprinklers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services currently is reviewing the National Fire Protection Association's proposed 2006 code. As part of the code, the NFPA is calling for mandatory and full sprinkling of every nursing facility in the country.