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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clarified automatic sprinkler system installation requirements (PDF) in attic spaces in long-term care communities.

The CMS in May adopted the 2012 Life Safety Code and the 2012 Health Care Facilities Code, requiring all existing and newly constructed long term care communities to be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.

The latest memo, issued December 16, 2016, says the use of fire retardant treated wood is allowed to be installed in a community in concealed or attic space without installation of an automatic sprinkler system, if it meets certain conditions related to access, construction, storage and fuel-fired equipment. Concealed spaces are considered non-occupied spaces created by building construction that may contain wiring or HVAC equipment, for example.

For any questions regarding the policy memo, contact CMS’ James Merrill at

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