The Baltimore-Washington Area is home to some of the most respected healthcare facilities in the world and Fireline is proud to work with many of them. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities present unique fire protection challenges. In hospitals, patient safety is the primary concern. Fire protection can never be compromised and must be a priority.
In many cases, hospital patients are severely injured or sick, making walking very difficult or impossible. Hospitals and healthcare facilities must have fire protection systems that are able to detect and extinguish a fire in its earliest stages. This will provide enough time for patients to be quickly evacuated. Many hospitals are high-rise buildings, a complicating factor. A fire or other emergency on a high floor makes early detection a must. A good fire prevention program includes a coordinated patient evacuation plan and regular systems inspection and testing from a qualified contractor.
Although fires in operating rooms are rare, most surgical patients cannot be evacuated in the event of fire. The use of oxygen and other medical gases increase the hazards. Alcohols and other flammable materials may be present. Fire protection for operating rooms might be the most important consideration in a hospital. Standard sprinkler systems may not be adequate and early warning smoke detection systems, such as VESDA, are essential.
Other areas of concern in hospitals and healthcare facilities include diagnostic rooms where CAT scan and MRI equipment may be present. Patients are confined inside these machines and they are very expensive. They can be protected with water mist, hybrid water mist and early warning smoke detection systems. Laboratories contain a myriad of specialized equipment that should be protected with enhanced fire protection systems. Commercial kitchens are another hazard requiring close attention. Properly designed exhaust hood fire suppression systems are vital and must be inspected every six (6) months. Proper training in the use of portable fire extinguishers should be mandatory for all hospital personnel.