2021 NFPA 99 Code - Current Edition
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  • Description

    Access the latest knowledge and information on safeguarding lives and property in health care facilities with NFPA 99, 2021 edition.

    It is critical to take appropriate measures to protect patients, staff, and visitors from dangers and ensure health care safety. NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, provides state-of-the-art performance criteria for health care facilities, materials, and appliances, including medical gas and vacuum systems, electrical systems, gas equipment, and features of fire protection.

    The code offers a risk-based approach that takes into account the particular hazards posed to occupants, rather than the building type, to determine safety guidelines. From provisions for installations, inspections, and testing to maintenance, performance, and safe practices, NFPA 99 is an essential resource for anyone who plays a role in facility safety.

    The Health Care Facilities Code provides the most current requirements for minimizing the risks of fire, explosion, and electricity.

    NFPA 99 was created to make it easier to adopt, use, and enforce a uniform approach and set of criteria for safety in hospitals, nursing homes, limited care settings, and other types of health care facilities.

    The 2021 edition introduces several substantial changes to the code, including:

    • Revisions to the scope to include hyperbaric chambers for veterinary care
    • New guidance describing what to do when clinical spaces are converted to nonclinical spaces with regard to medical gas inlets and outlets
    • Introduction of the term responsible facility authority to the code with requirements for professional responsibilities and qualifications
    • Removed existing language in Chapter 5 on cryogenic fluid central supply systems, replaced by extracts from NFPA 55 that cover the subject
    • New section on health care microgrids in Chapter 6
    • Requirements for electrical equipment site acceptance testing and preventive electrical maintenance added to Chapter 6
    • Amended procedures for removing flammable liquid–soaked materials from the operating room to require those materials to be removed only from the patient care vicinity
    • Requirements for the fire protection of heliports added to Chapter 16 by referencing NFPA 418

    Elevate your facility’s approach to safety and get compliant with the 2021 code.

    NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, is a safety essential for contractors, engineers, facility managers, authorities having jurisdiction, plumbers, gas and vacuum system installers, security personnel, insurance companies, manufacturers, and anyone with responsibilities for providing safety in health care environments. Get up to date with cutting-edge practices and requirements by ordering your copy today.

  • Table of Contents (2021 Current Edition)

    NFPA® 99 Health Care Facilities Code, 2021 Edition

    Chapter 1 Administration
    1.1 Scope.
    1.2 Purpose.
    1.3 Application.
    1.4 Equivalency.
    1.5 Units.
    1.6 Code Adoption Requirements.
    Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
    2.1 General.
    2.2 NFPA Publications.
    2.3 Other Publications.
    2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections.
    Chapter 3 Definitions
    3.1 General.
    3.2 NFPA Official Definitions.
    3.3 General Definitions.
    3.4 BICSI Definitions.
    Chapter 4 Fundamentals
    4.1 Risk Categories.
    4.2 Risk Assessment.
    4.3 Application.
    4.4 Materials.
    Chapter 5 Gas and Vacuum Systems
    5.1 Category 1 Piped Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    5.2 Category 2 Piped Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    5.3 Category 3 Piped Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    Chapter 6 Electrical Systems
    6.1 Applicability.
    6.2 Nature of Hazards.
    6.3 General.
    6.4 Category 1 Spaces.
    6.5 Category 2 Spaces.
    6.6 Category 3 and 4 Spaces.
    6.7 Essential Electrical Systems.
    6.8 Site Acceptance Testing.
    6.9 Electrical Preventive Maintenance (EPM).
    6.10 Health Care Microgrids.
    6.11 Classification of Emergency Power Supply Systems (EPSSs).
    Chapter 7 Information Technology and Communications Systems
    7.1 Applicability.
    7.2 Reserved.
    7.3 Category 1 Systems.
    7.4 Category 2 Systems.
    7.5 Category 3 Systems.
    Chapter 8 Plumbing
    8.1 Applicability.
    8.2 System Category Criteria.
    8.3 General Requirements.
    8.4 Category 1. (Reserved)
    8.5 Category 2. (Reserved)
    8.6 Category 3. (Reserved)
    Chapter 9 Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
    9.1 Applicability.
    9.2 System Category Criteria.
    9.3 General.
    9.4 Category 1. (Reserved)
    9.5 Category 2. (Reserved)
    9.6 Category 3. (Reserved)
    Chapter 10 Electrical Equipment
    10.1 Applicability.
    10.2 Performance Criteria for Patient Care–Related Electrical Appliances and Equipment.
    10.3 Testing Requirements — Patient Care–Related Electrical Appliances and Equipment.
    10.4 Nonpatient Electrical Appliances and Equipment.
    10.5 Administration.
    Chapter 11 Gas Equipment
    11.1 Applicability.
    11.2 Portable Cylinder and Container Source.
    11.3 Cylinder and Container Storage Requirements.
    11.4 Performance Criteria and Testing.
    11.5 Administration.
    11.6 Operation and Management of Cylinders.
    11.7 Liquid Oxygen Equipment.
    Chapter 12 Emergency Management
    12.1 Applicability. 
    12.2 Responsibilities.
    12.3 Emergency Management Categories.
    12.4 General.
    12.5 Emergency Management Category 1 and Emergency Management Category 2 Requirements.
    Chapter 13 Security Management
    13.1 Applicability.
    13.2 Security Management Plan.
    13.3 Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA).
    13.4 Responsible Person.
    13.5 Security-Sensitive Areas.
    13.6 Access and Egress Security Measures.
    13.7 Media Control.
    13.8 Crowd Control.
    13.9 Access Control Equipment.
    13.10 Employment Practices.
    13.11 Security Operations.
    13.12 Program Evaluation.
    Chapter 14 Hyperbaric Facilities
    14.1 Scope.
    14.2 Construction and Equipment.
    14.3 Administration and Maintenance.
    Chapter 15 Dental Gas and Vacuum Systems
    15.1 Applicability.
    15.2 Nature of Hazards of Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    15.3 Category 1 Dental Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    15.4 Category 2 Dental Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    15.5 Category 3 Dental Gas and Vacuum Systems.
    Chapter 16 Features of Fire Protection
    16.1 Applicability.
    16.2 Construction and Compartmentation.
    16.3 Special Hazard Protection for Flammable Liquids and Gases.
    16.4 Laboratories.
    16.5 Utilities.
    16.6 Waste Chutes, Incinerators, and Linen Chutes.
    16.7 Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communications Systems.
    16.8 Heliports.
    16.9 Automatic Sprinklers and Other Extinguishing Equipment.
    16.10 Manual Extinguishing Equipment.
    16.11 Compact Storage.
    16.12 Compact Mobile Storage.
    16.13 Maintenance and Testing.
    16.14 Fire Loss Prevention in Operating Rooms.
    Annex A Explanatory Material
    Annex B Additional Explanatory Notes
    Annex C Sample Ordinance Adopting NFPA 99
    Annex D Informational References
  • How the NFPA Handbooks Differ from Codes and Standards

    THE NFPA HANDBOOKS DIFFER FROM CODES AND STANDARDS

    Ever wonder what the difference is between an NFPA® handbook and a code or standard? We’re glad you asked.

    NFPA codes and standards both provide requirements for achieving outcomes. Handbooks take a deeper dive, providing the full text of a code or standard as well as expert commentary and features such as graphics, decision trees, testing procedures, case studies, sample forms and checklists, and other helpful aids to give a better understanding of the reasoning behind the requirements and how to apply them.

    JUST REMEMBER:

    • A code or standard is a framework—a set of rules to follow with a goal to achieve a certain result
    • A handbook is a connector—linking requirements to application by helping you understand the reasoning behind a code or standard

    The simplest way to think about it is that codes and standards list the technical requirements while handbooks explain those requirements to clarify how to apply them.

  • 2018 and 2015 Descriptions

    2018 Edition

    The 2018 edition of NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code makes performance criteria more usable, enforceable, and adoptable.

    A must-have resource for everyone involved in health care safety, NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code provides performance criteria for health care facilities that follow a risk-based approach, where it is the risk posed to patients and staff, not the type of building, that defines safety guidelines. Provisions govern installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, performance, and safe practices for facilities, material, equipment, and appliances -- including medical gas and vacuum systems.

    Major changes in the 2018 edition broaden the Code's scope and help you work more efficiently to ensure health care safety:

    • Requirements addressing the risk assessment in Chapter 4 have been revised to clarify the responsibility for conducting a risk assessment and determining risk categories.
    • Chapter 5 includes requirements that now allow for the use of oxygen concentrators as central supply sources for piped medical gas systems.
    • Corrugated medical tubing is now a permitted material for medical gas and vacuum systems.
    • Chapter 6 is completely reorganized to group related requirements, allowing for the deletion of duplicated requirements for different types of EES.
    • Chapter 7 now includes requirements for wireless phone and paging integration as well as for clinical information systems.
    • Chapter 14 compiles all of the requirements for inspection, testing, and maintenance for hyperbaric facilities into one section.
    • A new Chapter 15, Dental Gas and Vacuum Piping Systems is dedicated to the application of piped gas and vacuum systems for these systems that do not always readily fall under the requirements for medical gas and vacuum as addressed in Chapter 5.
    • Requirements for fire extinguisher selection are included in Chapter 16 for spaces unique to health care facilities.

    Keep health care facilities up-to-code and patients and staff safe.

    Update now. NFPA 99 users include contractors, engineers, facility managers, AHJs, plumbers, gas and vacuum system installers, security personnel, insurance companies, and manufacturers. (Print, 207 pp., 2018)

    2015 Edition

    Building on its successful risk-based approach, the 2015 edition of NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code improves usability for better health care safety.


    The 2015 edition NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code provides performance criteria for health care facilities that builds on the risk-based approach introduced in the 2012 NFPA 99, where it is the risk posed to patients and staff, not the type of building, that defines safety guidelines. Provisions govern installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, performance, and safe practices for facilities, material, equipment, and appliances -- including medical gas and vacuum systems formerly found in NFPA 99C*.

    Major changes in the 2015 NFPA 99 make performance criteria more usable, enforceable, and adoptable:

    • Requirements correlate with the 2014 NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code®.
    • New provisions address using fuel cell systems for backup power, allowing the use of new technology while ensuring the same minimum level of safety.
    • Type 3 Essential Electrical System requirements have been removed from NFPA 99 -- deferring to other codes for required egress lighting.
    • Updated requirements for nurse call systems incorporate widely used terminology and align with the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI).

    Other revisions respond to new information and the evolving industry.

    • Revised minimum allowable temperature for cylinders for nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide help avoid potential loss of pressure.
    • Rewritten Category 3 Medical Gas and Vacuum Systems provisions are aligned with the requirements for Category 1 and 2 Systems, with requirements specific to dental drive gas and dental vacuum systems.
    • First-time requirements for oxygen-concentrator-based refilling systems reflect their increasing use in today's health care setting.

    Keep health care facilities up-to-code and patients and staff safe.

    The 2015 NFPA 99 is a must-have resource for everyone involved in health care safety including contractors, engineers, facility managers, AHJs, plumbers, gas and vacuum system installers, security personnel, insurance companies, and manufacturers. (Softbound, 207 pp., 2015)

  • 2012 and Prior Editions

    Apply NFPA 99 to protect patients, staff, and visitors from the hazards of fire, explosion, and electricity in health care facilities.

    Work confidently to provide safer health care facilities for all occupants. NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code responds to the challenges of an evolving health care system with comprehensive requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, performance, and safe practices for facilities, material, equipment, and appliances -- including medical gas and vacuum systems formerly found in NFPA 99C*. It's a critical resource for engineers, facility managers, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), plumbers, gas and vacuum system installers, designers, and verifiers, security personnel, insurance companies, and manufacturers.

    The 2012 edition of NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code* reflects a new environment where it is the risk that a procedure poses to patients and staff, not the location where it is conducted, that defines safety guidelines. This groundbreaking edition has a new title -- Health Care Facilities Code -- and is rewritten to make performance criteria for health care facilities more enforceable and adoptable. In addition to the risk-based framework, this edition includes an updated Chapter 5, Gas and Vacuum Systems, including important changes to maintenance requirements necessary for safety. New chapters on security, fire protection, and information technology address industry needs. In another major change, operating rooms are considered a wet location unless a risk assessment of the area determines otherwise.

    The 2005 edition of NFPA 99: Standard for Health Care Facilities features changes to the emergency management chapter to correlate with NFPA 1600®: Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. Extracted text from NFPA 110: Emergency and Standby Power Systems presents specific guidance in the chapter on electrical systems. Essential for plumbers, two new pipe joining methods in the chapter on gas and vacuum systems reduce the possibility of leaks and eliminate a potential fire danger or loss of system use. To improve safety, this edition also introduces additional restrictions on types of fabric, clothing, and materials that can be used in hyperbaric chambers.

     

    *Looking for NFPA 99C: Gas and Vacuum Systems?

    Starting in 2012, NFPA 99C is no longer a stand-alone document. Instead, NFPA provides 3 options:

    - Former NFPA 99C content can be found in Chapters 1-5 of NFPA 99.

    - Access all of the former NFPA 99C medical gas and vacuum systems content in Chapters 1-5 of the NFPA 99 Handbook.

    • NFPA®'s Medical Gas and Vacuum Systems Installation Handbook combines requirements for Category 1-3 systems with expert insights, examples, and visuals that help you understand and apply them correctly.

    Interested in other editions of NFPA 99? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

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  • NFPA eForms

    NFPA® makes available PDF versions of some forms originally published in earlier editions of our NFPA Standards and handbooks. These eForms allow you to fill in the form fields electronically and then save, print, or share the file. NFPA eForms are intended for use on computers and are compatible with some mobile devices and apps. An internet connection is not needed to fill in and save the forms once they are downloaded to your device.

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  • eForms Table of Contents (2018)

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Central Supply Location Identification and Labeling (New and Existing)  
    Central Supply System Operations (New and Existing)  
    Central Supply Location  
    Zone Valve  
    Maintenance Guide  
    Essential Electrical Systems  
    Telecommunications System Entrance Facility  
    Cylinder Storage Location  
    Department Status Report  
    Emergency Operations Plan  
    Sample Standard Operating Procedure Format  
    Sample Operating Unit Template  
    Sample Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) Format  
    Security Vulnerability Assessment  
  • Also in Health Care Facilities Code