Healthcare facilities are a vital part of every community. The job functions they perform are absolutely critical to everyone’s quality of life. That’s why it’s imperative that fire and life safety for these facilities is at the level of protection they deserve.
Any facility that provides medical or dental care could be considered a healthcare facility. These may include large hospitals, small clinics, nursing homes and many other specialized care centers providing both inpatient and outpatient services. Fire and life safety challenges need to be addressed for all patients, visitors and staff members.
Structure fires within healthcare settings can be especially challenging to mitigate, and their emotional impact on the local community can seem to make them even worse. The fire load, or fuel for the fire, consists of regular items like furniture, mattresses, paper products and other commonly found items.
The following 3 considerations should be kept in mind when considering fire and safety precautions in healthcare facilities:
1. Hospital Kitchen Fires
Historically, the majority of hospital fires have originated in the kitchen and during meal preparation times, which is typically 8am or 4pm. With proper fire control equipment installed, fires can easily be contained to the kitchen and will not spread to the rest of the hospital. These preventative measures are very similar to other regular, (non-hospital) restaurant fire protocols.
Common preventative elements would include action items like cleaning hood vents periodically to decrease chances of future fires from starting, which leads us nicely into our second point:
2. Maintain a Regular Fire Suppression System Service Schedule
Most healthcare facilities have some combination of sprinkler or suppression systems, special hazard fire protection and fire extinguishers. Each and all of these elements should be inspected regularly and serviced as needed according to local code requirements. This may include backflow testing, which is a test to verify that water is able to freely flow from the public water supply through the backflow preventer and be used to supply the fire protection system. With regular fire suppression system maintenance, your healthcare facility will be minimizing the chance a fire could happen.
3. Multiple Systems Working Together
One of the best ways to prevent fires in healthcare facilities is with regular system maintenance. Fire and life safety systems can consist of many elements. The combination of all of these elements, the devices involved and other security systems working together in unison is what will give your facility the highest level of protection. Some of those system elements include:
- Detectors For Smoke, Flame & CO2
Photoelectric detectors can have built-in wireless transmitters and can verify the presence of fire with a low rate of false alarms.
Manual pull stations installed throughout the facility for zone protection.
3G, 4G, or 5G capable of seamless, reliable coverage, automatically choosing the best signal to transmit active alarms to begin organizing a response.
Fire alarm panels
This is where everything above comes together in one centralized location and can transmit alarms to central monitoring stations for dispatch.
Security System Elements
Having an adequate video surveillance system can verify the presence of fire from a safe distance and faster than walking to the active alarm location.
Fire systems can also react with unlocking doors and closing fire-stop doors to keep spread down.
Safely contain fire hazards before they spread to the rest of your healthcare facility
Seconds count in protecting lives and property
All of these factors will be considered when we custom design and configure your overall system.
ATS has been serving nationwide clients from Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 1984. A UL listed central monitoring station and Honeywell Platinum certified, ATS remains one of the largest, most experienced security integrators designing, installing and maintaining whole systems. In addition to Fire and Life safety system, ATS also offers PA and Medical Alert Systems (PERS), Environmental Monitoring, Nurse Call, Real Time Location and Wander Management and more!