Fire Protection for Houston Area Hospitals
In typical commercial settings, fire protection is relatively straightforward. Fire extinguishers, suppression systems and sprinklers provide protection, and alarms alert building occupants of the threat so they can follow the evacuation route and escape the building.
Conditions are different in a hospital setting where many patients can’t move easily in order to evacuate. Many are even hooked up to life support systems that can’t be transported. This makes fire prevention and protection efforts critical, from the hospital’s layout to the placement and functionality of fire protection equipment to employee training.
Fire Risks in Houston Hospitals
The parts of a hospital that usually come to mind are those where patients spend their time: operating rooms, maternity areas, recovery rooms. But as with other commercial buildings with cooking equipment, the most likely place for a fire to break out is in the kitchen.
In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 58 percent of the fires in hospitals between 2006 and 2010 were started by cooking equipment. Trailing behind at a distant second are intentional fires, the cause of 8 percent of hospital blazes within that timeframe. Other causes include smoking materials, electrical or lighting equipment, washers and dryers, and accidents caused by playing with heat sources.
Creating a Fire Safety Plan for Houston Hospitals
The actions of hospital personnel and the functionality of fire protection systems can mean the difference between a minor incident and a tragic event. That’s why you must prepare today to prevent, control and contain a fire should one ever break out in your Houston hospital.
Install and Maintain Fire Protection Equipment
- The hospital kitchen needs an adequate fire suppression system.
- Every room and hallway should be outfitted with fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers in accordance with Houston fire codes.
- A comprehensive fire alarm system – including smoke detectors, pull stations, strobe lights, sirens and more – must be present.
- Your cafeteria and any meal prep kitchens or rooms need proper kitchen fire suppression systems and regular vent hood inspections and cleaning.
Once these fire protection devices are installed, you must have them inspected on a regular schedule to ensure they function when you need them.
Train Your Staff to Use Fire Extinguishers
A fire extinguisher is only useful if every hospital staff member knows how to use one. Make new employee training a priority so every employee can fight a small fire if they need to.
Establish a Fire Plan
As part of employee training, make sure every doctor, nurse, receptionist and janitor is aware of your fire plan, which should include the following four steps:
- Rescue: Escort or carry any patient in immediate damage of fire or smoke inhalation to a safe place.
- Sound the alarm: Go to the nearest pull station and activate the fire alarm. If your system is monitored, the fire department will dispatch when you activate the pull station. Otherwise, call the fire department and give them your name and the exact location of the fire.
- Extinguish the fire: If it’s small enough, you may attempt to put out the fire with the nearest extinguisher.
- Confine the fire: If the blaze is already growing and spreading rapidly, don’t attempt to extinguish it. Instead, disconnect medical gas flow meters in the room where the fire has started and close the door behind you as you leave the room. This contains the fire and stems its spread.
- Evacuate: Get out of the building and let the sprinklers, suppression system and fire department do their job to extinguish the blaze.
Working with a fire protection company is the best way to prevent Houston hospital fires. To learn more, or to schedule fire protection services, please contact Kauffman Co. online or call us today at (713) 893-1090.
We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:
- Deer Park
- Galena Park
- Jacinto City
- La Marque
- La Porte
- Lake Charles, LA
- Lake Jackson
- League City
- Missouri City
- Port Arthur
- San Antonio
- South Houston
- Sugar Land
- Texas City
- The Woodlands
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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