Every hospital needs fire protection. Many public spaces need to be made as safe as possible, especially when those buildings are designed to house vulnerable patients who may not be in the condition to evacuate if a fire breaks out. Here is a look at why fire protection in these facilities cannot be ignored or allowed to go out of date.
Potential Fire Risks
We begin with a closer look at the potential fire risks that you must take into account. The NFPA has reported in recent years that over 5,600 hospitals are affected by fire damage in some form every year. While fatalities are relatively small, no one wants that to happen. Likewise, no building owners or hospital administrators will want anyone on their campus to be injured because of a fire, even if they survive such a terrifying experience. Most of the fires that start in hospitals can be attributed to a kitchen fire or an electrical malfunction caused by wiring or heating and cooling units.
Types of Fire Protection Systems
With that in mind, here is what all hospital stakeholders should know about the various fire protection systems that are available. All healthcare facilities, regardless of their size, should be equipped with these devices. For instance, there must be at least one commercial-grade fire suppression system installed in the kitchen. If restaurants need to have these systems, then the cafeteria must have one as well. Multiple fire extinguishers should be placed on every level, in clearly marked locations at regular intervals. That way, there is never one out of reach whenever a fire cannot be contained by sprinklers alone. Functional fire alarms are a necessity to warn everyone inside to escape as quickly as possible and to allow first responders unimpeded access to rescue anyone who is still trapped. Having the best emergency lighting is an expense that should not be overlooked. These lights can help when the main generator goes down and knocks out regular lighting in the building. Finally, all sprinklers must be tested and configured to activate whenever heat sensors are triggered.
One challenge hospitals face is the testing and maintenance of fire alarm devices in sensitive areas. Each year fire protection companies will need to come out and test all smoke detectors to ensure functionality. Addressable aspirating smoke detection can be a good alternative solution to traditional fire alarm systems. Addressable aspirating smoke detection systems constantly draw in air and filter it to pinpoint threats faster. These are useful in operating rooms as the units only need to be tested at the base unit, not in the actual rooms, preventing costly downtime and interruptions to hospital operations.
Establishing New Procedures
Establishing new procedures will go a long way towards ensuring that everyone knows how to react in the event of an emergency, fire-related or otherwise. Fire drills should be held every month. Everyone on staff needs to be trained on how to use a fire extinguisher properly. Create a plan for evacuation with input from your fire protection partner, who can ensure that it is the most logical plan that helps everyone stay safe amidst the confusion.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.