Hospitals and other health facilities pose unique problems in terms of security in the event of a fire. Many vulnerable people can stay there indefinitely, meaning food preparation is required and the rooms heated. Still, they also house the most explosive and electronic equipment you can’t see everywhere. This is why safety protocols and procedures are crucial in the medical world.
Risks of fire in a health facility are found in almost every corner. However, with the proper precautions, these risks aren’t required to trigger flames as devastating as those in other structures. This article will examine some key aspects of safety and fire management in hospitals and ways to reduce the risks and enhance the response if a fire starts within your facility.
Common fire risks in a health facility
Although there are lots of fire-related hazards that can be found in hospitals, There are certain areas that are more prone to fires than others. By monitoring and identifying these areas, be prepared to deal with any fires that might occur and put them out before they get out of control.
Not surprisingly, one of the main causes of fires in hospitals is in the kitchen. In reality, the most dangerous fires at hospitals occur around the same time the kitchen staff prepare meals for patients and doctors. Most fires are contained in the appliance or area they begin in; however, you want to avoid being the center to suffer an outbreak of fire.
The dangers in the kitchens of healthcare facilities are the same as in a restaurant or home; however, in this case, people are cooking on a massive scale in a structure that houses hundreds of people or more. It is crucial to establish and follow the safety rules for kitchens.
Another major cause of fires in hospitals is electrical appliances. It could be because of any issue ranging from malfunctioning equipment to a faulty socket. It’s essential to check the condition of the electrical equipment you use periodically to ensure everything works properly.
- Be sure that your outlets are filled with only a few plugs.
- Make sure that all electrical cords, as well as plugs, are in excellent shape.
- Replace frayed plugs or wires.
- Do not put wires under carpeting, rugs, or anywhere else where someone could step on them.
- Repair any electrical appliance that isn’t working properly, including things that cause smoke, sparks, or smells.
Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of fires throughout the residential environment, but it is particularly dangerous in hospitals and healthcare facilities. If combustible gases such as oxygen are used, It is vital to avoid smoking as far from them as possible. However, a few of your patients could be smokers for life and aren’t able to quit due to having ended up in the hospital. You need to figure out a way to deal with this situation securely.
The majority of hospitals today prohibit smoking on their premises. However, if you’ve got patients who refuse to comply with the rules, you might have to set up a smoking space for patients. If you plan to create an area for smoking, ensure that it’s not near the building and away from the oxygen tank. Install a tip-resistant ashtray within the designated area to ensure that no butts will make it to any area that could pose a threat.
Fire prevention in hospitals
Knowing the areas where fires are most likely to occur is useful; however, if you take action to stop burning in those regions, it will make no difference. Both passive and active fire prevention measures are essential to safeguarding healthcare facilities.
Compartmentation is one illustration of passive safety against fire. Simply put, hospitals are designed to limit fires that may occur in the area from which they begin. The fire compartmentation of hospitals can be achieved by segregating the hospital into various subdivisions that are separated by fire-resistant walls, flooring, and windows and doors that are fire-proof.
They help to contain and limit the spread of flames and smoke and reduce the damage and spread that structural fires cause. Fire doors should be able to stand up to fires for a specific duration and stop smoke, flames, and dangerous gases from escaping through the area to the next.
Fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems
When we speak of the active systems for fire prevention, we’re talking about sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers. These devices can be used to put out fires after they’ve started.
The fire sprinklers are activated instantly and reduce fire damage by as much as 90 percent. They’re efficient not just since they directly apply water to the flame but also to surrounding areas, which slows the spreading of the flame. If you want more firefighting capabilities directly working, fire extinguishers can be one of the most efficient active firefighting tools.
Responding to fires at healthcare facilities
If there is a chance for a fire to spread through your establishment, staff members must know the steps to get people out and put out the flames as fast as feasible.
Make an action plan.
If you’ve taken a hospital fire safety training course, you’re probably familiar with the term RACE. It’s a popular fire safety procedure within the medical field, which refers to Rescue alarm, confinement, arouse, and extinguishing. Understanding and following these steps could be the difference between losing property or life, so ensure everyone knows how to react to fire emergencies.
Save anyone needing immediate assistance to get out of the flame. Only try this when you can do so in a safe manner.
Set off the alarm for fire immediately after you’ve gotten rid of individuals from immediate danger to ensure that firefighters can reach the flame and assist quickly.
Confine Confine the flames when you can. Shut all doors and windows to stop the spread of the flame and decrease the amount of oxygen that the fire could use to fuel itself.
Extinguish/Evacuate the Fire
If the flame isn’t too large, it can be put out yourself before firefighters arrive. If you cannot extinguish the fire, get yourself and other people out of the way to allow the professionals to take care of it.
Be aware that no property loss is worth the risk to your safety. If you can’t safely put out the fire on your own, leave the area as soon as you can. In addition, regularly attending classes in fire safety at hospitals will allow you to understand the difference between a fire you can control. Keep yourself informed and protected.