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Report: Some Nursing Homes Are Non-Compliant With Federal Fire Sprinkler Rule

6:08 PM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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Piedmont Triad, NC -- A report by a consumer advocacy group claims some Triad nursing homes are in non-compliance with a federal fire safety regulation.

As of August 13th of this year, a rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) required nursing facilities to install automatic fire sprinklers.

According to the report by Consumer Voice, 1,200 facilities are still non-compliant as of September, 11 of those nursing/retirement facilities are in the Triad.

The group says the facilities have either partially installed sprinklers or are without.

It also says the federal government is not cracking down on the violations and just handing out extensions.

The facilities listed in the Triad span Winston-Salem, High Point, Greensboro, Thomasville and Wilkesboro.

Chief A.T. Byrum says that concerns him as a firefighter because these facilities cater o a population that's much older, ailing and has limited mobility.

"That's going to make our job tougher because of the fact that the fire is not being held in check. The smoke is going to develop quicker and spread through the building. It's going to consume more of our resources and rescue and getting these people to safety," Byrum said. "The sprinkler system is the best form for fire protection."

WFMY News 2 reached out to the Triad agencies listed in the report - including Kindred Hospital in Greensboro and Brookridge retirement community in Winston-Salem..

Brookridge says its facility is still in the process of installing the sprinklers and should have them in full operation by next year.

Libertywood Nursing Center in Thomasville says it received an extension from CMS and will be done with installation in October.

Kindred, Trinity Glen in Winston, the skilled nursing facility at Wilkes Regional in North Wilkesboro and Mayfield Nursing in High Point all say they are in compliance and the report is not correct.

WFMY News 2 is in the process of confirming what the faculties are saying with the federal agency in charge.

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