Fire Safety and protection in Hospital

Fire safety & protection is matter of vital importance concerning everyone in the hospital industry. After the grief-stricken incidence of Kolkata question of safety of patients have raised in India. Unawareness of safety measures specially among staff of hospital led to death toll of more than 90 persons including patients as well as staff. Whole incidence turned out as an eye opener for government as well as health care provider.

For fire safety and protection in hospital an intelligent building design is needed to cater to various potential emergency situations to avoid further incidence of same kind. The main objective of fire safety design of buildings should be assurance of life safety, property protection and continuity of operations or functioning. The designer must recognize the type of danger posed by each component and incorporate effective counter-measures in hospital. Fire Protection Engineering has made substantial strides in its professional development and all should be implemented.

Many old hospitals, mostly government hospitals, do not have fire safety equipments like sprinklers. Even the roads inside big hospitals, which should be 6 metres wide, are blocked with parked vehicles. If a fire breaks out, the fire tenders cannot even enter. Therefore norms & codes for building design & fire safety should be followed not only for high rise hospital buildings but also for small set up or nursing homes properly. Fire Codes process is a complex process which integrates many skills, products and techniques into its system.  It has been observed that a big hurdle in the way of efficient fire safety measures is the blocked staircase area in most private hospitals across India. The staircase is usually blocked by locked glass doors, meant to restrict the entry of patient’s relatives or other unwanted people; instead of giving priority to safety. This could be resolved by keeping security guard to keep outsider at bay and leaving the staircase open for emergencies.

Hospital engineering service provision for Fire Protection according to NABH:

  1. Fire fighting installation approval must be obtained
  2. Location of control room should be easily accessible.
  3. Control panel & manned, PA equipment should be connected with detection system or fire alarm system.
  4. Pumps and pump room
  5. 2 separate pumps i. e .Electric and diesel pump should be available
  6. Provision of Forced ventilation should be there.
  7. Arrangement of filling Fire tenders
  8. 4 way fire inlet must be present in case of emergency
  9. Proper access for Fire tender to fire tanks
  10. Fire Drill should be performed
  11. Yard Hydrants should be available
  12. Ring main and yard hydrants should be as per strategic locations.
  13. 2 way fire heads to charge the ring main
  14. Landing Hydrant & Hose reels
  15. Wet riser system must be installed
  16. First aid Fire fighting appliances must be in working conditions
  17. First aid equipment cabinets
  18. Provision of Escape routes – escape stair
  19. Sprinklers system – basement & bldg. above 15 M in height
  20. Automatic Smoke detectors / heat detectors
  21. Provision of Fire Alarm System & Fire extinguishers

Regulations as per National Building Code 2005

  1. All high-rise buildings need to get NOC as per the zoning regulations of their jurisdiction concerned.
  2. A road which abuts a high rise should be more than 12 metres wide, to facilitate free movement of Fire Services vehicles, specially the Hydraulic Platform and Turn Table Ladder.
  3. Entrance width and clearance should not be less than 6 metres or 5 metres, respectively.
  4. Atleast 40 per cent of the occupants should be trained in conducting proper evacuation, operation of systems and equipment and other fire safety provisions in the building, apart from having a designated fire officer at the helm.
  5. The buildings should have open spaces, as per the Zonal Regulations.
  6. Minimum of two staircases with one of them on the external walls of the building. They should be enclosed with smoke-stop-swing-doors of two-hour fire resistance on the exit to the lobby.

General Recommendations:

  1. Hospitals of high rise buildings are found to be utilising the cellars for generators and transformers, which is strictly prohibited.
  2. Canteens, OP blocks, dormitories and pathological labs are not allowed in cellars.
  3. Regular refresher training courses for the fire brigade personnel.
  4. Recommendation for creating Rural Fire Services in areas which are not at present under any full time Fire Service cover.
  5. Augmentation of Municipal Hydrant System.
  6. Adoption of best practices from other city codes like Mumbai Delhi and Hyderabad by State Government for fire safety.
  7. Clarifying position of CFO and Fire Protection Consultant in approval procedures.
  8. Recommendation for establishment of Disaster Control Room for cities.
  9. A passing reference to NBC rules like provision of fire doors, fire separating walls, fire exit & fire lifts should not be overlooked.

Fire safety Measures have 4 Parameters namely means of access through approach roads, open spaces, means of escapes like external Staircases & Fire fighting equipment. Thus provision of all these is necessary from safety point of view within hospital premises. An effective fire program calls for an understanding of the hospital fire plan & the active participation of every employee at all times. Also at least 1 well trained fire officer should be elected at every hospital. There is no better protection against fire than constant vigil to detect fire hazards, prompt action to eliminate in safe conditions & a high degree of preparedness to fight fire.

Everyone should remember that every big fire starts from small one therefore nothing should be considered insignificant within hospital premises. Some hospitals lack trained staff to handle such emergencies therefore frequent mock as well as evacuation drills must be taken. Panic & confusion are the greatest hazards of fire & they can be countered only by sufficient preparedness which should be avoided by means of hospital staff in case of fire emergency. Strong actions like putting board of ‘Fire Unsafe Building’ in front of hospitals, which did not initiate fire safety measures like Fire Department (Hyderabad) should be implemented in other cities & states. The best form of protection from fire is its prevention.

 

  1. April 25, 2017

    Hi Tarun

    Good info on fire safety

    One of the areas where you can throw light is whether any plot size is recommended for smalk; medium n big hospitals.

    Usually what we see, as there are no standard hospital Plot area, people compromise on foot print of building, parking space, engineering n support department s and free circulations soace for patient relatives, staff n visitors.

    Even in bigger towns, town planners come out with very small plot areas for Health User reserve plots.

    Ideally as hospitals are considered public buildings, the number of beds should be tied to plot size. Also, government must give liberal concessional price for purchase of land and stamp duties.

    If plot size n other standardisation are adopted then hospital promoters will be compliant with various engineering n safety standards.

    Due to lack of hospital Plot size standardisation the safety standards often get compromised. You have already summed up your observations on existing hospital buildings n fire safety standards.

    Rgds

    Dr Dev Taneja
    CarePoint Hospital. Uran.
    Navi Mumbai
    carepointhospital@gmail.com

    • June 27, 2017

      thanks for your kind input sir , will definitely work on that

  2. May 4, 2017

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. May 5, 2017

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  4. May 6, 2017

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  5. May 6, 2017

    Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible article.

  6. June 8, 2017

    Great explain.
    Safety is must in the hospital.

Comments:

  • Author : Dr Dev Taneja,

    Hi Tarun Good info on fire safety One of the areas where you can throw light is whether any plot size is recommended for smalk; medium n big hospitals. Usually what we see, as there are no standard hospital Plot area, people compromise on foot print of building, parking space, engineering n support department s and free circulations soace for patient relatives, staff n visitors. Even in bigger towns, town planners come out with very small plot areas for Health User reserve plots. Ideally as hospitals are considered public buildings, the number of beds should be tied to plot size. Also, government must give liberal concessional price for purchase of land and stamp duties. If plot size n other standardisation are adopted then hospital promoters will be compliant with various engineering n safety standards. Due to lack of hospital Plot size standardisation the safety standards often get compromised. You have already summed up your observations on existing hospital buildings n fire safety standards. Rgds Dr Dev Taneja CarePoint Hospital. Uran. Navi Mumbai carepointhospital@gmail.com

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  • Author : employment law advice,

    Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  • Author : tips for job seekers,

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But just imagine if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this website could certainly be one of the best in its niche. Wonderful blog!

  • Author : stay at home jobs,

    Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible article.

  • Author : Shirish Bhaisare,

    Great explain. Safety is must in the hospital.

  • Author : admin,

    thanks for your kind input sir , will definitely work on that

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