National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 99, HealthCare Facilities, 2005 Ed.


National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 99) provides requirements on electrical systems; gas and vacuum systems; environmental systems; materials; electrical equipment; gas equipment; laboratories; manufacturer requirements for equipment used in patient care; and requirements for hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities.

The "Authority having jurisdiction" inspects for compliance with these minimum standards.


There have been several editions manufactured throughout the years. In their own unique way, all who were involved in the birth of NFPA played an important role and each deserves their own dedicated story. Uberto C. Crosby served as chair of the Executive Committee during 1896 and 1897, and as second President from 1897 to 1900. Everett Crosby was the Association's first Secretary, serving from 1896 to 1903, and chair of the Executive Committee from 1903 to 1907. Both were involved in the small meeting in March of 1895 when the first seedlings of our Association were sown. The similarities are striking when compared on a grander scale with the second and sixth Presidents of the United States, John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. What a strange quirk of fate that NFPA Headquarters and its first publication resides on a portion of the Adams' original farmland in Quincy, Massachusetts. [1] In 1979, a committee decided to combine all documents under its jurisdiction. In November 1983, the birth of NFPA 99 was in Orlando, Florida. In 1984, the first issue of NFPA 99 became a reality. In March 2005, the newest edition was reborn to include strict precautions for the use of alcohol-based surgical solutions.ASHE argued that each of the elements essential for the care of surgical patients an ignition source, fuel, and an oxygen-rich atmosphere can contribute to fires in the operating room if not managed properly; therefore, managing the risk of each element, rather than removing any single element, is key to preventing surgical fires.Additionally, in March 2005 ASHE included strict precautions for the use of alcohol-based surgical solutions. [2]

The future is set and the next edition to hit the streets is in 2012.


The NFPA 99 2005 ed. there are 21 chapters.

(1) Specific requirements for wiring and installation on equipment are covered in NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

(2) Requirements for illumination and identification of means of egress in health care facilities are covered in NFPA 101, Life Safety Code.

(3) Requirements for fire protection signaling systems.

(4) Requirements for fire pumps are covered in NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, except that the alternate source of power shall be permitted to be the essential electrical system.

(5) Requirements for the installation of stationary engines and gas turbines are covered in NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines.

Chapter 5, Gas and Vacuum Systems, covers the performance, maintenance, installation, and testing of the following:

(1) Nonflammable medical gas systems with operating pressures below a gage pressure of 2068 kPa (300 psi)

(2) Vacuum systems used within health care facilities

(3) Waste anesthetic gas disposal (WAGD) systems, also referred to as scavenging

(4) Manufactured assemblies that are intended for connection to the medical gas, vacuum, or WAGD systems (also referred to as scavenging)

Areas Not Addressed. Requirements for portable compressed gas systems are covered in Chapter 9, Gas Equipment.

Chapter 6, Environmental Systems, covers the performance, maintenance, and testing of the environmental systems used within health care facilities.

Chapter 7, Materials, covers the hazards associated with the use of flammable and combustible materials used within health care facilities.

Chapter 8, Electrical Equipment, covers the performance, maintenance, and testing of electrical equipment used within health care facilities.

Chapter 9, Gas Equipment, covers the performance, maintenance, and testing of gas equipment used within health care facilities.

Chapter 10, Manufacturer Requirements, covers the performance, maintenance, and testing, with regard to safety, required of manufacturers of equipment used within health care facilities.

Chapter 11, Laboratories, establishes criteria to minimize the hazards of fire and explosions in laboratories, as defined in Chapter 3.

Areas Not Addressed. Subsection 1.1.11 is not intended to cover hazards resulting from any of the following:

(1) Chemicals (2) Radioactive materials (3)* Biological materials that will not result in fires or explosions

Chapter 12, Health Care Emergency Management, establishes minimum criteria for health care facility emergency management in the development of a program for effective disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.

Chapter 13, Hospital Requirements, addresses safety requirements of hospitals.

Chapter 14, Other Health Care Facilities, addresses safety requirements for facilities, or portions thereof, that provide diagnostic and treatment services to patients in health care facilities. Requirements for specific health care facilities are addressed in the following chapters:

(1) Hospitals - Chapter 13 (2) Nursing homes - Chapter 17 (3) Limited care facilities - Chapter 18

Chapter 17, Nursing Home Requirements, addresses safety requirements of nursing homes.

Chapter 18, Limited Care Facility Requirements, covers safety requirements of limited care facilities.

Chapter 19, Electrical and Gas Equipment for Home Care, addresses the requirements for the safe use of electrical and gas equipment used for home care medical treatment.

Chapter 20, Hyperbaric Facilities, covers the recognition of and protection against hazards of an electrical, explosive, or implosive nature, as well as fire hazards associated with hyperbaric chambers and associated facilities that are used, or intended to be used, for medical applications and experimental procedures at gage pressures from 0 to 690 kPa (0 to 100 psi). Chapter 20 applies to both single- and multiple-occupancy hyperbaric chambers, to animal chambers the size of which precludes human occupancy, and to those in which the chamber atmosphere contains an oxygen partial pressure greater than an absolute pressure of 21.3 kPa (3.09 psi) (0.21 atmospheres).

Chapter 21, Freestanding Birthing Centers, addresses the requirements for the safe use of electrical and gas equipment, and for electrical, gas, and vacuum systems used for the delivery and care of infants in freestanding birthing centers.

See also[]

NFPA Standards[]

  • NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • NFPA 70B - Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance
  • NFPA 70E - Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
  • NFPA 72 - National Fire Alarm Code
  • NFPA 704 - Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response
  • NFPA 853 - Standard for the installation of stationary fuel cell power systems
  • NFPA 921 - Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
  • NFPA 99 - Health Care Facilities
  • NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code
  • NFPA 1123 - Code for Outdoor Firework Displays
  • NFPA 1901 - Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus

Fire apparatus[]

  • Fire Equipment Manufacturers' Association
  • Fire extinguisher - The NFPA classifies extinguishers into the familiar A, B, C, D, & K use system


  1. [1] Cavanaugh Grant, Casey, PE., The Birth of NFPA, 1996
  2. [2] Google Timeline, 2010