Texas Health and Human Services has been informed that multiple long-term care facilities are currently experiencing water outages as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Facilities should be aware that lack of water will render the facility’s emergency fire suppression system inoperable. As such, long-term care facilities facing water outages must comply with sprinkler impairment procedures as outlined in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, and the NFPA Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.

Each long-term care facility experiencing a water outage must provide and implement a fire watch to ensure the health and safety of all residents until the sprinkler system has been returned to service.

This notice applies to the following facility types:

  • Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)
  • Nursing Facilities (NF)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID)

Texas Administrative Code and Federal Regulations supporting these expectations are as follows:

  • ALF: 40 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 92.62 (f)(2)
  • NF: 40 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 19 §19.326(c) and Code of Federal Regulations §483.90(a)(8)
  • ICF-IID: 40 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 90.74 and Code of Federal Regulations §483.470(j)

If you have questions regarding this alert, please contact a policy specialist in the Policy, Rules and Curriculum section at 512-438-3161.