A new proposed bill promotes the installation of fire alarm detection systems in long-term health care facilities.

The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), Irving, Texas, is urging its members, the industry and other individuals and organizations to support a bill, H.R. 2882, the “Long-Term Care Life Safety Act,” introduced by Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-N.Y.

The new legislation, introduced at the request of the NBFAA, is designed to establish a grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services to promote professional retrofit installation of fire alarm detection systems and other fire prevention technologies in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospice facilities.

“This bill promotes the installation of fire alarm detection systems in long-term health care facilities and we are pleased to see that Congressman Arcuri has worked with the NBFAA to ensure that fire safety in these facilities involves both detection and suppression,” said George Gunning, NBFAA president.

“Only automatic and manual fire alarm systems give advanced notice to all of the occupants, staff and just as importantly, the fire departments and emergency first responders. Stand-alone smoke alarms are not fire alarm systems and are not Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed for commercial use. The elderly in these facilities often cannot save themselves, and many times lack the hearing capacity to listen for the shrill beeping of a smoke alarm. Smoke detectors installed on a fire alarm system are UL listed for commercial use and have audio and visual notification appliances required by the Americans with Disabilities Act for the hearing impaired. It is this advanced warning that accounts for an impressive decline in fire deaths in the U.S.,” Gunning explained.

Congressman Arcuri has received support for his bill from the Assisted Living Federation of America, the National Fire Prevention Association, National Center for Assisted Living and the New York State Health Facilities Association, a state affiliate of the American Health Care Association.

For more information about this bill and how to support it, contact NBFAA’s lobbyist and director of government relations John Chwat, at Chwat & Company Inc., 625 Slaters Lane, Suite 103, Alexandria, Va. 22314 . He may be reached by phone at (703) 684-7703 or by e-mail atGov.Info@alarm.org.