Inspection Course


Health Care Facilities

A building used on a 24 hour basis to house or treat 4 or more persons who are not capable of escaping from a fire emergency without assistance.

A component of health care facility is the limited care facility. This is a building or part of a bldg used on a 24 hour basis to house 4 or more persons incapable of self-preservation because of age or physical limitation, but not receiving medical or nursing care.

Ambulatory health care center. Building or portion that provides services or treatment of 4 or more patients that would temporarily render them incapable of self-preservation during an emergency without assistance from others (dialysis unit, outpatient surgery with general anesthesia used).

Occupants are generally presumed to be incapable of self preservation. Therefore, health care facilities pose additional problems when it comes to moving and evacuating people/patients.

Three types of care in most modern hospitals: ambulatory, general, intensive care. Because of the wide range of occupants, total building fire protection is more important in health care facilities, than in other buildings.

Patient protection begins in the patient's bedroom; noncombustible waste containers, draperies-flame retardant, 2 forms of egress, adequate protection if needed for refuge. Note: no restrictions on, actual clothing or bedding.

Health care facilities maintain significant numbers of medical files. When stored in steel closed cabinets, there is no increase in hazard. However, when stored in open shelving, a serious fire hazard is present. Open shelving should be protected in fire resistive rooms with automatic sprinklers.

Installation of sprinklers throughout the building allow corridors, partitions, and door openings to be constructed of materials that serve only to resist the passage of smoke. They need not have a fire resistance rating.

HVAC system and building components must be such that, it can be subdivided into separate smoke compartments into which patients can be moved without having to leave the building.

Some hospitals teach employees the R - A - C - E approach for evacuation:

  • Remove patient from room of origin
  • Alarm - activate the alarm system for notification
  • Confine the fire by closing windows and doors
  • Extinguish if incipient / Evacuate the area
  • Many fires in health care facilities are attributed to careless smoking. The facility must adopt and enforce stringent smoking regulation policies

    Every health care facility must have a fire and evacuation plan, which a11 personnel must be familiar with. Routine drills should be conducted to ensure compliance with life safety procedures.

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    INDEX Occupancies

    FPT 102 - Fire Prevention and Inspection // Instructor: Kevin M. Kolb        Slide #8