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Hospitals & Fire Safety

Hospital is a space where the inhabitants are inept to take care of themselves. They are highly dependable patients who are dependent on the hospital staff to take care of them even under normal circumstances let alone an emergency situation like fire. This makes it extremely imperative for premises like a hospital to ensure safety in their premises at all times.

A recent fire incident in the Metro Hospital Noida brings to light the need of fire safety in sensitive places like hospitals. The fire incident started with a short circuit in the water heater in the High Dependency Unit of the hospital. HDU is a post-operative room where patients are kept after a surgery. A fire incident in such a space is extremely hazardous and puts a serious risk on lives of the patients.

To avoid such untoward situation, a hospital must invest in early detection technologies to catch a slight incidence of fire and have automatic suppression systems that auto extinguish the fire before it becomes too large to handle. Being densely populated premises, a hospital must invest in green firefighting technologies that are harmless to the patients.

What is an ideal fire safety plan for a hospital premises?

An ideal fire safety plan takes a holistic view of fire safety. It entails employing practices that help in prevention of fire in the first place, & adopting early detection technologies that can catch early signs of fire. In a hospital scenario, where the inhabitants are highly dependable patients, it is crucial to employ technologies that are not only efficient in firefighting but also safe to be administered in human presence and last but not the least, easy and speedy evacuation so as to minimize post fire damage to life & property.

Here are some quick points on how to make hospitals fire safe:

· All buildings should adhere to the codes, both externally and internally

· Hospital building should adhere to set back space norm

· There should be no activities in the basement except parking activities with sprinkler system in place

· Hospital must invest in sprinklers & hydrant systems in addition to local placement of the extinguishers

· All firefighting equipment must be regularly checked and the hospital staff should be trained in using them

· All electric sockets, equipment & wiring should be checked from time to time

· A hospital must adhere to good housekeeping to avoid flashing over of fire

· Wards housing patients must have ramps so that patients on beds can be evacuated in time

· A hospital must invest in large sized back-up firefighting equipment to help contain large fires or till the fire tender arrives

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