When it comes to fire protection in health care facilities, there is truly no room for error. With most healthcare facilities being filled with sick, disabled, and elderly patients, facility managers need to be vigilant in keeping their patients safe. Although fire protection is an extremely significant component of healthcare safety management, fire emergencies can easily be prevented with routine safety checks and attention to detail. In this article, we take a look at our top fire protection tips for healthcare facilities, so you can ensure that you’re doing everything in your power to keep your patients safe.
According to the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration), there were 5,700 fires at medical facilities in 2012-2014, which led to 25 injuries per year and five deaths – not to mention $5 million in annual property damage. Paying substantial attention to alarm and sprinkler systems in your healthcare facility is one of the ways to make sure that a devastating fire does not occur in your healthcare facility. In addition to standard fire alarms and sprinklers, detection systems are a critical component to fire safety in a healthcare facility.
Sobieski Inc. tells us more about fire safety equipment in healthcare settings:
“Nursing homes and hospitals require corridor smoke detectors with some exceptions. In hospitals, full-coverage smoke detectors are usually required. Sprinkler systems are designed to activate and extinguish fires when they occur. NFPA 101 provides the requirements for the design and function of sprinkler systems in healthcare facilities.”
Most healthcare facilities include a large kitchen in order to make regular meals for their many residents. And while cooking fires are an obvious hazard in a healthcare facility, they will usually stay confined to one room (see below for the exceptions to this rule). However, the same cannot be said for fires that are caused by electrical malfunctions.
Encore Fire Protection explains the usual cause of electrical malfunctions:
“FEMA found that one out of five non-confined fires (fires that spread beyond their point of origin) were the result of broken wiring or overloaded outlets. The report found that “general materials,” which includes the insulation that surrounds the electrical wiring, was the leading source of ignition for these fires. As healthcare facility manager, your facility’s electrical setup therefore cannot be overlooked. Like kitchen fires, these electric fires can be avoided.”
While kitchen fires do not usually spread as fast as electrical fires, certain factors will cause a simple kitchen fire to spread quickly. In order to avoid a potentially devastating fire, it is important to make sure you are doing everything in your power to eliminate hazards in your kitchen.
Total Fire Protection explains how a small kitchen fire can quickly create a potential disaster:
“Grease is infamous for its ability to catch on fire and spread quickly. To prevent fires and reduce their risk of spreading, empty grease traps, store flammable liquids far from cooking equipment, clean your kitchen equipment regularly, and keep Class K fire extinguishers nearby in case of fire.”
Fire-Alert takes pride in equipping homeowners, commercial businesses, and government buildings with all necessary fire safety devices to ensure the well-being of families and employees across the nation. Reach out to us using our contact form to find out more.