Has NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, Made a Difference in Health Care Fire Safety?

Blog Post created by bpugh Employee on Jul 20, 2018


Michael Crowley, Vice President of Development and healthcare practice leader for Jensen Hughes, and 38 year NFPA member, presented this popular topic to a packed room at the 2018 NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas last month. Crowley is a passionate leader in the healthcare industry and currently serves as the Chair of the Health Care Facilities—Correlating Committee for NFPA 99.

Setting the stage of this session, Crowley compared the recorded health care facility fire losses from 1980 to 2014. Crowley explained, "The Life Safety Code has defined Fire Safety in healthcare since the late 1960’s. The adoption of the Life Safety Code by the precursor of Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) launched it as the premier healthcare fire and life safety document. The modification made over the years identified life safety and healthcare functional issues. These issues were addressed in the Life Safety Code and the positive performance are reflected in the recent Fire Record reports."

Heath Care Fire Data Comparison


Some of the major Life Safety Code changes that were introduced during this time period include:

  • Mandatory automatic sprinklers for new healthcare facilities and new and existing nursing homes.
  • The creation of suites in healthcare occupancies
  • Designation of hazardous areas
  • Quick response sprinkler requirements 


While the positive impact of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® is clear, Crowley stressed to the audience that the healthcare industry continues to evolve and so must the code. New patient care options, design trends, more stringent smoking regulations, and a host of new technologies are just some of the topics that will spark code change discussions for the 2021 edition. To stay updated on the document's progress or to become involved visit nfpa.org/101.


Did you know that NFPA Conference & Expo attendees and NFPA members get full access to ALL the 2018 NFPA Conference & Expo education session audio & video files? Browse the full list of education sessions here. If you're not currently an NFPA member, join today!