Healthcare workers are not strangers to the risk of fire. Healthcare facilities must have extensive fire safety procedures to protect patients, staff, and property. Although the staff is well-trained in these procedures, there are still a few basic tips everyone can follow to help minimize the risk of a fire. Here are five basic fire safety tips for healthcare facilities:
Fire safety is the most effective approach to preventing fires. However, no building is fault-free, and no strategy can anticipate every potential source of the fire. Ensure your electrical cords and plugs are in good working order with no damage, nicks, or frayed areas. Do not run electrical cables under rugs or carpets or overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Replace any appliances, tools, or pieces of equipment that produce sparks, smoke, or unusual odors. Increase safety measures in the kitchen, dining hall, laundry room, and other areas where fires are more likely. Take extra precautions if you work in a kitchen; be careful when cooking!
Don’t allow smoking to come into contact with oxygen-dispensing equipment. According to the NFPA, fires burn more easily, quickly, and hotter when more oxygen is in the air. Clean the lint traps in your washer and dryer. Make sure no grease or other combustible items accumulate on kitchen equipment. Also, make sure you store flammable materials are properly, and that fire alarms and suppression systems are operational.
One of the most important things you can do to encourage fire safety is establish a fire safety and evacuation plan, and ensure that everyone who works in the facility knows it. To test their knowledge, conduct fire drills to verify that all employees know where to flee in the event of a fire and what to do if there is a problem.
It’s always a good idea to ensure that there’s at least one person on your staff who knows their fire safety. This individual should guarantee that the proper fire extinguishers are accessible and that nothing is blocking them. This person should also know any damaged safety seals, leaking nozzles, and pressure gauge readings in the correct range.
Ensure that no obstructions remain in the path of outgoing or incoming traffic and that fire doors aren’t blocked or cluttered. Follow local rules on locking doors and keeping fire doors in good working order. Ensure all personnel know where fire alarms are located and how to use them.
Healthcare facilities have a responsibility to protect their patients, staff, and visitors from the dangers of fire. By following these basic fire safety tips for healthcare facilities, you can help keep everyone safe from flames. Have you implemented any of these tips in your healthcare organization? If not, now is the time to start!
Think the staff at your healthcare facility would benefit from a fire safety course? Learn more about Fire-Alert’s Half-Day Safety Course Training Program here!