NFPA 99 Requirements for MRI Rooms
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 99 standards were updated in 2018 to specify the requirements regarding the types of fire extinguishers allowed to be used in healthcare facilities. NFPA 99 was updated because certain fire extinguishers can disrupt or destroy the functionality of some devices in healthcare facilities. In response, these requirements are designed to ensure the highest level of life and fire safety in these facilities.
Revised NFPA 99 standards clarify that imaging rooms with magnetic devices such as MRI scanners must have non-conductive fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers for rooms with these types of devices must be non-ferrous, meaning they are not affected by magnetic fields. MRI scanners run on extremely high voltages and generate very strong magnetic fields, making conductive fire extinguishers a potential risk. Failure to adhere to these requirements could potentially damage magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment or create projectiles from conductive fire extinguishers.
“MR Conditional” Explained
The Kidde Non-Magnetic MRI Extinguisher 5-Pound ABC fire extinguisher is considered MR Conditional, which means it adheres to an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standard (ASTM F2503-20), and is a practice for marking medical devices and other items for safety in the magnetic resonance environment. This means that the object or device is safe under certain tested conditions, and those conditions should be enumerated on the product, its packaging or in the enclosed literature. Nearly everything that carries either the current MR safe or MR compatible designations would be switched to MR conditional under the new standard.