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Fires In Nursing Homes: What’s the Legal Standard of Prevention?

Electing to place a loved one in the care of a nursing home is a painful choice for anyone to make. That decision merits confidence that the facility you choose will provide a safe and supportive environment. One major safety concern is fired in nursing homes. When assessing the fire safety of a nursing home, what are the legal standards by which to measure them?

Fire Safety Standards for Nursing Homes

In Georgia, the Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards 120-3-3-.04 states:

(2) Hospitals, hospices, ambulatory surgical centers, nursing homes, assisted living homes, or other health care type occupancies or facilities that are regulated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shall comply with the fire and life safety rules and regulations imposed by that agency even though the codes and standards or the editions of codes and standards adopted by that agency may not be specifically addressed or included in this chapter. The codes and standards adopted and modified herein shall also apply where applicable and shall be deemed to be the minimum state fire and life safety standards where they are at least as protective as the CMS rules and regulations.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services assess the fire safety of health care facilities, including the prevention of fires in nursing homes. Safety evaluation includes such features as:

  • Automatic sprinkler system
  • Emergency routes
  • Smoke detection and alarms
  • Building construction features
  • Fire extinguishers

Know Their Responsibilities and Know Your Rights

An evaluation worksheet detailing safety measurements for nursing homes can be found here. However, not all facilities may be required to meet all safety measures prescribed by the CMS. Older homes are sometimes granted waivers if compliance with regulations poses an “unreasonable hardship.”

If you or a loved one has suffered loss or injury in a nursing home fire, you need expert legal representation in the state of Georgia. Successful litigation is much more likely when you hire a law firm with knowledge and experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases.

At the Fry Law Firm, you will find a legal team of dedicated and compassionate professionals who will do what it takes to uphold your rights.

Visit our Atlanta office, or simply fill out a case info form, and email it to us. We will evaluate your case and arrange a free initial consultation with you.

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