JCAHO recognizes electronic fire extinguisher monitoring

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) typically requires monthly physical inspections of fire extinguishers, but according to En-Gauge Inc., the Joint Commission is allowing flexibility for those inspections to be done electronically. En-Gauge said today that The Joint Commission has approved the company's technology as equivalent to those monthly physical inspections of hospital and healthcare facility fire extinguishers.

Healthcare organizations who wish to be accredited by The Joint Commission, which is an independent certifying organization enforcing its own standards, have to meet the commission's requirements on extinguisher monitoring.

En-Gauge describes its system as "a wireless sensor monitoring platform ... the system includes sensors, wireless sensor backbone components, supervisory software and can be integrated with real-time-location technology as well as integrated into all major security and building monitoring systems. en-Gauge software allows the user access reports demonstrating code compliance such as the age, in-service date, manufacturer and incident history for each extinguisher."

The action of the JCAHO to recognize electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers as an alternative to physical checks follows similar approval from the 2007 NFPA-10 and NFPA-72 and the 2006 IFC.

The Joint Commission still requires its annual physical check and maintenance of fire extinguishers, but credited en-Gauge for meeting requirements in EC.02.03.05 EP 15 code.

Electronically monitored fire extinguisher technology is fully recognized by the 2007 editions of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes NFPA-10 and NFPA-72, and the 2006 International Fire Code as an alternative to the requirement for monthly physical inspections of fire extinguishers. En-Gauge is also listed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.