NFPA produces a series of codes and standards to help reduce the risk of fire, explosions and other related hazards. For those in the health care industry, it’s the NFPA 99, “Health Care Facilities Code,” that provides necessary requirements for installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, performance, and safe practices for facilities, material, equipment, and appliances. Since this includes including medical gas and vacuum systems formerly included in NFPA 99C, you can see how far-reaching this standard is for this industry. Now there’s a new 2015 Edition and it’s a must for all users of the document.
What can you expect to find in the NFPA 99 2015 Edition? The document builds on the concept of using risk analysis for patient and staff safety as the basis for it’s requirements. It brings the NFPA 99 requirements in line with changes to the NEC (NFPA 70, 2014 Edition). It adds provisions for using fuel cell systems for backup power. It removes the Type 3 Essential Electrical System requirements. And it updates terminology and requirements for nurse call systems to align with those of the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI).
There are a number of new requirements based on the addition of medical gases and vacuum systems to the standard. These include
- revised minimum allowable temperature for cylinders for nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide
- rewritten Category 3 Medical Gas and Vacuum Systems provisions (to harmonize with those of Category 1 and 2 Systems), including dental drive gas and dental vacuum systems
- and requirements for oxygen-concentrator-based refilling systems.
As noted above, the NFPA 99C was withdrawn in 2012 in favor of the NFPA-99. If you need further guidance on the topic of gas and vacuum systems in this setting, NFPA suggests that you use the “Medical Gas and Vacuum Systems Installation Handbook.”
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