Prevent Hospital Fires with Regular Fire Suppression System Maintenance

Fire protection services

Have your commercial fire protection systems been checked by fire protection companies recently? Due to a lack of maintenance, approximately 44% of dry or wet chemical system failures were attributed to a lack of regular maintenance.

Between 1980 and 1984, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that there was existing automatic fire extinguishing equipment in nearly half of hospital fires. During 2007 and 2011, however, this number increased to 78%.

From the time period of 2006-to-2010, there were approximately 6,240 structural fires located at health care facilities to which local fire departments responded. In 2010, however, the NFPA reported that there were 1,200 hospital fires where fire departments needed to respond.

While 55% of these fires were confined cooking fires, others were due to electrical malfunction. It has been determined that electrical malfunction accounts for 19% of all non-confined fires in hospitals. Furthermore, it is the leading cause of these fires.

Hospitals, as well as other types of medical facilities, need to have an efficient early warning system in place. The location of the fire and the suppression system activation may not make a significant difference if there isn’t an early warning of 10-to-15 minutes.

This early-warning time period is essential as it is the typical duration before the fire reaches the incipient stage’s end. When this warning system is in place, the fire department should be able to arrive on time in order to limit the facility’s damage.

The NFPA has reported that when facilities contain total sprinkling systems that are operating properly, deaths as a result of fires can be greatly reduced. Furthermore, the NFPA reports that no more than two deaths have occurred in building fires with this type of suppression system.

It’s important to note that fire sprinklers were activated in 91% of the structural fires that were recently studied. This excludes, however, fires that occurred in buildings under construction as well as those areas that didn’t have sprinklers where the fire emerged.

In addition to having an early warning system and an operational fire suppression system, hospitals should also have trained personnel at their site. This can make a major difference with a wide range of fire scenarios.

When personnel are well-trained, they will know how to respond to the situation and when to contact the fire department. Furthermore, when trained personnel are on staff, there needs to be less than a three-minute warning prior to the fire’s incipient stage’s end.

Another vital aspect to lowering the risk of sustaining injuries or death in hospital fires is having an effective fire evacuation plan in place. A recent survey of 119 businesses showed that only 35% of these business had a plan in place.

In addition to having a fire evacuation plan, it’s also essential to have regular drills. When hospital staff go through these drills on a regular basis, it will reinforce the safety protocols.

The importance of having regular maintenance, trained personnel, and an efficient evacuation plan cannot be stressed enough. In addition to ensuring that a medical facility’s existing systems are well-maintained, fire protection companies can also provide fire sprinkler installations. Furthermore, fire protection companies will also be able to inspect the hospital for possible fire hazards.

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