The Common Causes of Fires in Healthcare Facilities

The Common Causes of Fires in Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities have had their fair share of challenges in the past year. As the pandemic still continues around the world, another area these facilities need to consider is fire safety in healthcare. A fire in hospitals could be a matter of life or death for thousands of people, which is why you need to understand the most common causes of these incidents. Of course, by equipping your building with fire alarms and testing these regularly, you can also work to prevent harm to anyone in the building in the event of an emergency.

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Monitor Your Kitchens 

While kitchens aren’t the first place you think about in healthcare buildings, they are one of the most common causes of fires in healthcare facilities. You need to ensure your kitchens are equipped with fire alarms and fire suppression systems. These are critical for fire safety in healthcare facilities and will reduce the chance of a fire spreading to anywhere else in the building. When you employ new team members to work in your kitchens, ensure they are fully briefed on your procedures in the case of an emergency. Kitchens have so many appliances which could cause a fire, so we recommend ensuring they are all regularly maintained and inspected.

Book Regular Inspections 

Industrial fire safety policies are something that needs to be maintained on a regular basis. You’ll find that, regardless of what type of fire alarms and procedures you have in place, the more often you review them, the more protected you’ll be in an emergency. Every part of your fire safety plan needs to be inspected on a regular basis. Different parts of the system require checks at different frequencies. This could start with a monthly alarm check but lead up to annual checks for other components. If you aren’t sure how often you need to check your alarms, we recommend working with a team of professionals to ensure you are meeting local regulations

Keep a record of when everything was last checked, which you can use in the case of an emergency to protect yourself. The more paperwork and records you can keep about your fire alarm system, the more likely you’ll be to keep your business intact should an emergency occur. Fire alarm systems need to be regularly maintained even when they are brand new. Ensure you have regular fire alarm tests, and inform your employees and patients when these are taking place to avoid the alarm. Have a clear policy in place for evacuating patients, and make sure everyone who is admitted to your facility is aware of these policies from their first day in your building. 

Avoid Smoking in Healthcare Facilities 

While we like to hope very few of the people within your healthcare facility smoking when receiving treatment, there are still a fair few who rely on this every day. Patients who smoke near oxygen are risking both their own health and the whole facility. You need to make sure you set rules with these patients and discuss with them the risks of smoking near an oxygen tank. Make sure you have a designated smoking area somewhere in your building, with the right facilities to extinguish cigarettes once they are finished. Make sure you add signs that state that oxygen isn’t allowed in this area, which will help to reduce the chance of a fire in your facility. 

Train Your Team to Use Fire Extinguishers 

Your team needs to all be able to use a fire extinguisher. No matter what position they perform in your organisation, they need to know how to put out a fire should one occur at their place of work. It’s no use putting fire extinguishers around a healthcare facility if no one knows how to use them. This training should be part of their initial induction into your company. At the same time, show them how to respond to fire alarms and what they should do during an emergency. You need to establish an order in which they must act to keep the safety of themselves and your patients in mind at all times. The more education you can offer your team, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with any incident that comes your way in the future. 

Fire alarms are the most important aspect of any fire protection plan in a healthcare facility. By following these steps listed above, you can ensure you prevent fires in the first place. Your team will know exactly how to respond should a fire occur, and they’ll be able to put out a fire immediately to stop it from spreading further. Our team will be here to support you at all times when it comes to installing new fire alarms within your workplace. Contact us today for more information about fire alarms and maintaining them for your business.

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Must read: Who needs a strobe fire alarm in the building?

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