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Hospital staff sensitised to fire prevention measures

Exercise comes in the wake of several accidents reported in different parts of the country

In the wake of fire accidents reported at hospitals in different parts of the country, leading to deaths of several COVID-19 patients, the Fire and Rescue Services Department on Tuesday oriented representatives of private hospitals here on safety measures.

The minimum requirements for fire safety, fire prevention measures and National Building Code guidelines for hospitals were among the key aspects highlighted to representatives of private hospitals that were admitting COVID-19 patients at a time when the viral infection was spreading rapidly.

A power-point presentation was made during the seminar on fire safety at COVID Care Centres by officials of the Fire and Rescue Services Department, covering a host of aspects including effective fire fighting techniques and the dos and don’ts.

Participants were exposed to a few instances of fire accidents reported in private hospitals at Virar and Mumbai in Maharashtra, Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh and Ahmedabad in Gujarat in which many COVID-19 patients died.

The hospital representatives belonging to the safety wing were briefed in detail about a range of aspects such as sources of fire, its effects, fire extinguishing methods, classes of fire, way to use fire extinguisher, minimum requirements for fire safety and National Building Code guidelines for hospitals. The slew of fire safety measures to be put in place in hospitals, fire fighting training to all staff members, installation of fire alarms in each floor, organising mock drills every six months, a fire safety evacuation plan, installation of smoke detection systems and use of flame-retardant materials in interiors were emphasised to the participants.

The vulnerability factor in hospitals since they were equipped with stock of chemicals, gas cylinders, medial oxygen, kitchen facilities and electrical equipment was also highlighted to the participants during the seminar.

The presentation focussed on a few cases of fire accidents in hospitals reported across the country over the years, reason for the accidents and what went wrong. Proper ventilation at chemical storage points and ensuring proper maintenance of electrical wiring and equipment were also emphasised to the hospital representatives during the programme at the Fire Station Premises here.

Since private hospitals were also admitting COVID-19 patients in large numbers, there was a necessity to sensitise the hospital representatives especially those attached to the safety department to the systems to be put in place for safety at hospitals and about the fire prevention measures, said G. Anusuya, District Fire Officer, Tiruchi.

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