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RULE §554.341Electrical Requirements

(a) The design of the electrical systems must be done by or under the direction of a licensed professional electrical engineer approved by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to operate in Texas, and the parts of the plans and specifications covering electrical design must bear the legible seal of the engineer. Utilities; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems; vertical conveyors, and chutes must meet the requirements of NFPA 101, Chapter 9, Building Service and Fire Protection Equipment.

(b) Fire protection systems must meet the requirements of §19.337 of this division (relating to Fire Protection Systems).

(c) Electrical systems must meet the requirements of NFPA 70.

(d) Specific requirements for lighting and outlets at resident bedrooms must meet the requirements of §19.334 of this division (relating to Architectural Space Planning and Utilization).

  (1) Emergency electrical service.

    (A) To provide electricity during an interruption of the normal electric supply, an emergency source of electricity must be provided and connected to certain circuits for lighting and power. Facilities that were constructed or received design approval or building permits before July 5, 2016, may comply with the emergency electrical system requirements for existing health care facilities in NFPA 99. All other facilities covered by this section must comply with the emergency electrical system requirements for new health care facilities in NFPA 99.

    (B) Emergency electrical connection service must be provided to the distribution systems as required by NPFA 101 and NFPA 99. Rehabilitation or modernization of an existing emergency power system must be based on the assessed risk category and according to the requirements of NFPA 99 for new health care facilities.

      (i) The following systems must be arranged for automatic connection to the alternate power source, without delay:

        (I) illumination for means of egress, nurse stations', medication rooms, dining and living rooms, group bathing rooms not directly connected to resident bedrooms, and areas immediately outside of exit doors;

        (II) exit signs and exit directional signs as required by NFPA 101;

        (III) alarm systems including fire alarms activated by manual stations, water flow alarm devices of sprinkler systems, fire and smoke detecting systems, and alarms required for nonflammable medical gas systems, if installed;

        (IV) task illumination and selected receptacles at the generator set location;

        (V) selected duplex receptacles including such areas as resident corridors, each bed location where patient care-related electrical appliances are utilized, nurse stations, and medication rooms including biologicals refrigerator;

        (VI) nurse call systems;

        (VII) resident room night lights;

        (VIII) a light and receptacle in an electrical room or a boiler room;

        (IX) elevator cab lighting, control, and communication systems;

        (X) all facility telephone equipment; and

        (XI) paging or speaker systems, if intended for communication during emergency. Radio transceivers where installed for emergency use must be capable of operating for at least one hour upon total failure of both normal and emergency power.

      (ii) The following systems must be arranged for delayed automatic or manual connection to the alternate power source:

        (I) Heating equipment must provide heating for general resident rooms. This will not be required if:

          (-a-) the outside design temperature is higher than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius);

          (-b-) the outside design temperature is lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius) and, when selected rooms are provided for the needs of all confined residents, then only those rooms need to be heated; or

          (-c-) the facility is served by a dual source of normal power.

        (II) In instances when interruptions of power would result in elevators stopping between floors, throw-over facilities must be provided to allow the temporary operation of any elevator for the release of passengers.

    (C) The emergency lighting must be automatically in operation within ten seconds after the interruption of normal electric power supply. Emergency egress lighting must not be switched.

    (D) Emergency service to receptacles and equipment may be delayed automatic or manually connected. Receptacles connected to emergency power must have red faceplates.

    (E) The design and installation of emergency motor generators must be in accordance with NFPA 37, NFPA 99, and NFPA 110.

      (i) Generators must be located a minimum of three feet from a combustible exterior building finish and a minimum of five feet from a building opening, if located on the exterior of the building.

      (ii) Generators located on the exterior of the building must be provided with a noncombustible protective cover or be protected as per manufacturer's recommendations.

      (iii) Motor generators fueled by public utility natural gas must have the capability to be switched to an alternate fuel source in accordance with NFPA 70.

      (iv) Stored fuel capacity must be sufficient for not less than four hours of required generator operation.

    (F) The normal wiring circuits for the emergency system must be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and must not enter the same race-ways, boxes, or cabinets according to NFPA 70.

  (2) General Lighting Requirements. General lighting requirements are as follows:

    (A) All spaces occupied by people, machinery, equipment, approaches to buildings, and parking lots must have lighting.

    (B) All quality, intensity, and type of lighting must be adequate and appropriate to the space and all functions within the space.

    (C) Minimum lighting levels can be found in the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Lighting Handbook, latest edition. Minimum illumination must be 20-foot candles in resident rooms, corridors, nurses' stations, dining rooms, lobbies, toilets, bathing facilities, laundries, stairways, and elevators. Illumination requirements for these areas apply to lighting throughout the space and are measured at approximately 30 inches above the floor anywhere in the room. Minimum illumination for over-bed reading lamps, medication-preparation or storage areas, kitchens, and nurses' station desks must be 50 foot candles. Illumination requirements for these areas apply to the task performed and are measured on the task.

    (D) Nursing unit corridors must have general illumination with provisions for reduction of light levels at night.

    (E) Exposed incandescent light bulbs or other high heat generating lamps in closets or other similar spaces must be provided with basket wire guards or other suitable shield to prevent contact of combustible materials with the hot bulb and to help prevent breakage.

    (F) Exposed incandescent or fluorescent bulbs are not permitted in food service or other areas where glass fragments from breakage may get into food, medications, linens, or utensils. All fluorescent bulbs will be protected with a shield or catcher to prevent bulb drop-out.

  (3) Receptacles or convenience outlets.

    (A) Receptacles at bedrooms must be according to §19.334(a)(7) of this division (relating to Architectural Space Planning and Utilization).

    (B) Duplex receptacles for general use must be installed in corridors spaced not more than 50 feet apart and within 25 feet of ends of corridors. At least one duplex receptacle in each resident corridor must be provided with emergency electrical service.

    (C) Receptacles must be provided for essential needs such as medication refrigerators and systems or equipment whose failure is likely to cause major injury or death to a resident. All receptacles on emergency circuits must be clearly, distinctly, and permanently identified, such as using a red faceplate or a small label that says "Emergency."

    (D) Receptacles in the remainder of the building must be sufficient to serve the present and future needs of the residents and equipment.

    (E) Location of receptacles, horizontally and vertically, should be carefully planned and coordinated with the expected designed use of furnishings and equipment to maximize their accessibility and to minimize conditions such as beds or furniture being jammed against plugs used in the outlets.

    (F) Exterior receptacles must be an approved waterproof type.

    (G) Ground fault interruption protection must be provided at appropriate locations such as at whirlpools and other wet areas according to the NFPA 70.

  (4) Nurse call systems.

    (A) A nurse call system consists of power units, annunciator control units, corridor dome stations, emergency call stations, bedside call stations, and activating devices. The units must be compatible and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for the system and use intended.

    (B) Each resident bedroom must be served by at least one call station and each bed must be provided with a call switch. Two call switches serving adjacent beds may be served by one calling station. Each call entered into the system must activate a corridor dome light above the bedroom, bathroom, or toilet corridor door, a visual signal at the nurses' station which indicates the room from which the call was placed, and a continuous or intermittent continuous audible signal of sufficient amplitude to be clearly heard by nursing staff. The amplitude or pitch of the audible signal must not be such that it is irritating to residents or visitors. The system must be designed so that calls entered into the system may be canceled only at the call station. Intercom-type systems which meet this requirement are acceptable.

    (C) A nurse call system that provides two-way voice communication must be equipped with an indicating light at each call station which lights and remains lighted as long as the voice circuit is operating.

    (D) A nurse call emergency switch must be provided for resident use at each resident's toilet, bath, and shower. These switches must be usable by residents using the fixtures and by a collapsed resident lying on the floor.

Source Note: The provisions of this §554.341 adopted to be effective July 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4408; amended to be effective May 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 3235; amended to be effective March 22, 2018, 43 TexReg 1646; transferred effective January 15, 2021, as published in the Texas Register December 11, 2020, 45 TexReg 8871

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