Healthcare facilities require the highest standard of materials to create a working environment that is safe for the patients, staff, or visitors in healthcare facilities. Because of the diversity of systems present in a healthcare facility, standardized code works to minimize the hazards of fire, explosion, and electricity. That means if you are using plastic sheeting for covers, temporary walls, or other uses in the facility you must seek out something that meets NFPA 99 standards.
What is NFPA 99?
NFPA-99 lays the foundation for safety in healthcare environments with criteria and requirements designed to minimize the hazards of fire, explosion, and electricity based on the risk it poses to the patients, staff, or visitors in healthcare facilities. NFPA-99 consists of four risk assessment categories. Category 1 applies to “activities, systems, or equipment whose failure is likely to cause major injury or death of patients, staff, or visitors.”
Most general-use plastic sheeting can become statically charged through friction, and therefore, won’t meet the NFPA-99 test standards because of the ESD risk. ESD is what happens when the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects touch, causing an electrical spark. When this occurs in a dangerous environment with flammable gasses or equipment, the effects can be catastrophic.
Which plastic sheeting meets NFPA-99?
Antistatic plastic sheeting prevents the build-up of static electricity that occurs with basic movement of the material. During the NFPA-99 test, the material is charged with 5000 volts of electricity ungrounded. Then the voltage is shut off, the material is grounded, and a timer starts. The timer records the time it takes for the material to reach technical zero, or less the 50 volts. The plastic sheet slows the flow of electrical charges and the rate of decay of static charge.
What is the Best Antistatic Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting?
Americover’s Tuff Scrim™ Antistatic Fire Retardant Reinforced Poly Sheeting is the best plastic sheeting option for hospitals and healthcare facilities. Not only does it pass NFPA 99 testing standards for static decay. This reinforced sheeting also passes other fire retardant compliance standards, including NFPA 701 Large Scale, and has a Class I / Class A Flame Spread rating per UBC-42 and ASTM E-84.
In addition to meeting antistatic, fire retardant standards, this reinforced sheeting is durable and resistant to ripping and tearing. The unique grid pattern is composed of a high-strength cord between layers of linear low-density polyethylene. This design keeps the sheeting strong and lightweight without extra thickness beyond the 6 mils that are needed.
Americover’s Tuff Scrim™ Antistatic Fire Retardant Reinforced Poly Sheeting is ideal for for covers, temporary walls, and vapor barriers.
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) creates national standards of safety for fire and electrical-related issues. Their codes are adopted by individual states to craft local compliance laws. NFPA 99 outlines Health Care Facilities Code.
This handbook was last updated in 2021 and outlines 16 aspects of fire and electrical safety in healthcare facilities, including performance criteria for materials and appliances like medical devices, vacuum systems, electrical systems, and plastic sheeting.