Emergency rooms. Intensive care units. Patient recover rooms. MRI testing suites. Fire emergencies in any of these areas can be extremely catastrophic. In healthcare facilities, fires can destroy expensive and sophisticated medical devices; on top of that. It can significantly endanger the lives of many people – from patients to healthcare staff.
Thus, healthcare facilities need to have an active and reliable automatic fire suppression system. A good fire suppression system can mean the difference between life and death.
According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)’s security rule, all electronic health information be secured from the dangers of fires and other hazards.
Fires in Healthcare Facilities
From 2016, fire departments across the country have responded to over 5,700 fires in healthcare facilities. An estimated $50 billion in property damage have also been reported.
Unlike in other establishments such as schools or retail stores, people inside healthcare facilities are sick, disabled, or either young or old. Thus, a fire emergency can be way more disastrous.
Many healthcare facilities have sprinkler systems for fire protection. However, while sprinklers are useful for combating fires, the water and smoke can put electronic data at risks and can’t be recovered. These electronic records should not get exposed to water.
With automatic fire suppression systems, you can avoid water damage without compromising the effectiveness of combating fires. A reliable automatic fire suppression system can lessen the effect of fires on hospitals and other healthcare facilities. It can also help speed up the facility’s recovery efforts.
Here are some key strategies to ensure fire protection and safety in your healthcare establishment.
Do A Routine Check of Electrical Wires and Outlets
Electrical failures can result in fires. Fires caused by broken electrical wires and outlets is a common type of a non-confined fire, which is a type of fire that extends past the point of origin. Generally, the insulation surrounding the electrical wiring is the primary source of fire ignition.
Healthcare facility managers should maintain the facility’s overall electrical setup. Fires caused by electrical wires and outlets can be avoided with proper safety measures.
Avoid using extension cords whenever it’s possible. Instead of using an extension cord when you need to connect an electrical appliance to a socket, consider moving the appliance or installing a new outlet altogether. Extension cords, after all, are only a temporary answer – not a permanent solution.
However, if you must absolutely use an extension cord, make sure they are not close to any flammable materials. Never run the wire through a doorway, walls, or windows. Also, don’t put the cords under the rug or carpet.
Check for any cracks or splits in the cords. Never overload the cord by plugging in several appliances. Don’t put the cords in high-trafficked areas.
Ensure that only certified and professional electricians install, monitor, and maintain your building’s electrical system.
Install Automatic Fire Suppression Systems
Aside from fire sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers, automatic fire suppression systems can offer adequate fire protection in healthcare facilities. They’re especially useful in places where standard water systems would most likely cause water damage.
An automatic fire suppression system combines both fire protection and compliance with the HIPAA law of preserving electronic records, medical devices, and other essential items.
Automatic fire suppression systems are ideal in a variety of industries. Aside from medical and healthcare facilities, fire suppression systems are used in restaurants, industrial facilities, fuel storage, historical sites, museums, transportation, marine, archive storage, and more.
Develop and Execute a Fire Safety Plan
Everyone in your staff must know how to use fire extinguishers properly. They must also know the right protocol to follow when an automatic fire suppression system is triggered. These steps can be achieved by developing a fire safety plan.
Medical and healthcare facility managers must disseminate a plan that instructs everyone on what to do when there’s an emergency.
For the Protection of Everyone
With an automatic fire suppression system installed in your healthcare facility, you can protect your patients, healthcare staff, and your life-saving medical devices. Reliable fire protection is essential to healthcare facilities. Consult with a professional and reliable fire protection systems provider to know about the best options for your medical and healthcare facility.