The 2015 edition NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code provides performance criteria for health care facilities that build 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 todays health care setting.