Every building, residential or otherwise, should have a comprehensive fire safety plan. These plans are simple enough for buildings that host able-bodied people. But for an elderly healthcare facility, a fire safety plan must take into account special considerations that account for residents’ visual and mobile disabilities. Here are some steps that you should take if you’re designing or reviewing a nursing home’s fire safety plan.
No nursing home should go without fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and kitchen fire safety systems. If your elderly healthcare facility doesn’t have any of these systems, you’re risking danger and breaking federal laws.
Beyond that, nursing homes should accommodate people with mobility impairments. To make sure everybody in your elderly home would be safe in a disaster, ensure the following things:
- Wheelchairs and walkers can fit through all exits.
- All emergency exits have wheelchair ramps or other installations to transport mobility-impaired people.
- Provide small fire extinguishers to people confined to their wheelchairs. Caretakers should provide appropriate training to anybody with an extinguisher on their wheelchair.
- Flooring material accommodates people with artificial limbs, walkers, and canes.
- Fireproof rooms, including fireproof doors, and install sprinkler systems in case people can’t escape during an emergency.
Visually impaired people face unique difficulties that must be accounted for in a fire safety strategy. Consider the following details for preparing your facility and the visually impaired:
- Ensure that visually impaired people become familiar with and practice two escape routes.
- Place tactile markers on the floor of exit routes. Visually impaired people who are forced to crawl during an emergency can use these markets to find their way to safety.
You should provide meticulous training for all nursing facility staff and residents to prepare for an emergency. Additionally, you should ensure your facility has a written evacuation plan, and that people know where they may find the plan. Finally, routinely practice fire drills to ensure preparedness for when an emergency may strike.
Total Fire Protection provides life safety services that can make the difference that saves your life. Consult our expert team today for more information.