Tennessee adopts and implements sprinkler laws

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Tennessee is about to become the first state in the nation to require every nursing home to have a complete sprinkler system, according to the Associated Press. Lawmakers quickly implemented measures in response to a fire last fall that killed 14 nursing home residents.

By early August, nursing homes in Tennessee without a sprinkler system will be required to have smoke detectors in every patient's room. By November 2006, every nursing home in the state must have installed a full sprinkler system under the new law. Residential homes for the elderly, which provide limited care, have until December 2007 to comply.

Tennessee lawmakers started out with more than a dozen bills before adopting these three measures.