If you are the owner or manager of a nursing home there are special things to consider should a fire break out in the residence. You will need to have a plan before, during and after the fire.
Here is a look at what you need to do to keep residents safe and get through the ordeal of a nursing home fire.
You need to have an evacuation plan in place before a fire occurs. This means that you will need to secure automatic fire sprinkler systems and fire pumps.
You will need to designate a safe area to evacuate to especially for those residents who cannot move around quickly. Everyone is a priority but understand that those people who are immobile require special consideration.
Your safe area should be constructed with fireproof materials. It should also be constructed so that it stops the fire from spreading to other areas of the nursing home.
You should have smoke alarm systems in place so that an immediate alert goes out about a fire. Alarm control panels can tell your staff where the fire started and where it is going.
Make sure that you do regular fire drills in the facility as well, so that everyone knows what to do should a fire break out.
This is where all the security systems that you have put in place will work for you. The first thing you should do is call the fire department.
Employees should evacuate immobile residents to safe areas. Mobile residents should know where to go due to your fire drills.
The fire sprinkler systems should be activated and handheld fire extinguishers should also be used to put out the fire. All automatic door closing systems should be activated in areas where the fire has not spread.
Assess the damage that occurred. If there were weaknesses in the security system put things in place to address those issues as swiftly as you can.
Finally, counseling may be necessary for those residents and staff who were traumatized by the fire.
A nursing home fire can be devastating. However, if you have prepared ahead of time it is highly likely that you will survive the worst and everyone will be safe.
Once the fire stops, a needs assessment should take place. It is now time to see how best you can fix any loopholes in your evacuation plan. You can also start making arrangements to rebuild any areas that were damaged in the fire.
You should be mindful too of any trauma that may have occurred and get residents professional help to overcome it.
If you would like some help with your evacuation planning, please contact us.