Fires in Healthcare Facilities are considerably more dangerous, no matter their size. Patients may be seriously injured, expensive and specially designed equipment can be put out of commission or destroyed, and a blaze could spread more quickly as oxygen is widely used throughout the building. Fire threats shouldn’t be taken lightly because according to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2011 and 2015 there were an estimated average of 5,750 fires in healthcare facilities each year. So preparing for a possible fire at your Chicagoland site can keep your patients and employees safe while it helps to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Three Main Fire in Healthcare Facility Dangers
Healthcare centers present many opportunities for fires to erupt if people aren’t careful. While preventing fires takes more than just one approach, you should always adhere to your accrediting organization’s guidelines and take into consideration these three common dangers:
- Have all electrical outlets and wiring checked regularly to ensure they’re up to code. Broken, cracked, or split electric cables and cords will catch fire if they’re overloaded. Multi-plug adaptors, which allow numerous appliance cords to be plugged into the same outlet, can also overload an outlet.
- Never should smoking be allowed anywhere near areas where oxygen is being used or near oxygen tanks and containers. Fires fed by pure oxygen burn much faster and can seriously harm a person using oxygen while also catching the building on fire.
- Kitchens contain more fire hazards than any other part of your facility. So besides routine cleaning, areas like grills and hoods should be degreased regularly. All oils and other flammable liquids need to be safely stored away from stoves. Prevent grease fires by draining appliances’ grease traps frequently.
What To Do if a Healthcare Facility Fire Breaks Out
Should a fire break out, it’s vital that you already have an emergency plan in place so that all employees will know how to respond accordingly. This plan will include:
- prioritizing the patient’s safety
- rescuing all at-risk patients
- evacuating the building calmly
- shutting doors to contain fires
- ensuring that critical care equipment remains operational
- extinguishing small fires
While putting together the best action plan for your facility, it’s best to consult with professionals.
Additional Ways to Avoid Healthcare Facility Fires
Taking steps to ensure a fire in healthcare facilities never start in the first place, is a priority. One thing that can be done is to appoint a fire safety officer. This person will receive ongoing training on how to recognize fire hazards. They will check fire extinguishers to ensure they’re up to code, and train the staff on how to use them. This person may also be responsible for practicing emergency exercises with all employees and leading them during emergencies.
Another thing that can be done is to cultivate a relationship with your local fire damage and restoration company, ServiceMaster By Simons. There’s no substitution for professional help from experts. They can give you the edge you need by helping you develop an emergency contingency plan for Fires in Healthcare Facilities. If you do experience a fire, we’ll use state-of-the-art equipment and cleaning solutions. We’ll get your healthcare facility back to pre-loss conditions quickly. With two convenient locations in Chicago and Chicago’s North Shore, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is the trusted name in Cleaning & Restoration.