Running a nursing home is a huge responsibility and, one concern with deadly consequences, is the possibility of a fire that gets out of hand. Fires can start through a number of different circumstances and electrical fires are one of the primary reasons for fires in older buildings.
Owners need to ensure that the building well maintained, that there are safety systems in place, such as alternate exits, smoke detectors, and sprinklers, and that they have provided an evacuation plan that involves all staff members, one that is practiced regularly. The supervisory staff must be ready to carry out an escape plan anytime there is a fire or other danger present. Operating a safe facility can be a factor in negotiating nursing home insurance rates.
Just how safe is this facility?
A nursing home that is understaffed cannot properly care for all residents in their care. Owners should ask themselves whether or not they currently have the necessary staff-to-patient ratio to aid residents. It’s important to note the number of available staff members per resident during the day and night, or on weekends and holidays.
Nursing home management must take safety planning seriously and regular safety meetings should be held to address any changes in the operations of the facility. Families of residents should also be provided information when any such changes take place. Even something so simple as taking the time to ensure that paper and other items are properly stored, away from heat sources, and that access to doors or hallways are kept clear in the event they are needed in the event of an evacuation.
The importance of practicing fire safety
Smoke can travel rather quickly to areas far from where a fire first emanates. It’s important to understand that many people living in nursing homes often are not able to evacuate on their own due to mobility issues or other disabilities. Proper planning and training is vital and regularly practicing what needs to be done is essential in order to provide for the safety of residents.
Every facility should have written fire procedures and staff should be responsible for carrying out their role when danger strikes. This includes doctors, nursing staff, kitchen staff, maintenance, volunteers, and anyone else employed by the facility.
Proper planning can reduce any imminent danger if a fire breaks out, and nursing home insurance rates will remain lowest in a facility that doesn’t experience any costly damage.