Fire Safety – Tips to Help Prevent and Handle Fire

September 5, 2021 | Events

Fire Safety in Senior Care Homes

Safety is of prime importance to us at Legacy Place. The safety and well-being of our dear residents and staff are never left to chance and this is reflected in everything we do. Our staff is trained extensively on preventing and handling safety hazards and we thought it would benefit all our readers to have a glimpse of this. Many of you are caring for elderly relatives and we hope these pointers help you too.

In the month of August, our focus was on Fire Safety and Training. Our staff received special training on safety guidelines in preventing and handling fires. In this article, we will discuss the importance of fire safety, the standards we follow, and tips to keep your home safe.

Fire Safety and Escape Planning

Fire Safety Training in Senior Care Homes

Fire has always played an important role in our lives, and we know it in different forms. From “a refiner’s fire” to a “fiery furnace,” the power of fire is not lost on us. Though one of the most useful tools when used well, a fire on the loose can wreak havoc.

Fire safety and escape planning are vital especially in senior care homes full of vulnerable people with restricted mobility. Proper planning, training, and practice of all staff are important.  According to a study on Older Adults and Fire

“Thirty-five million Americans are of the age 65 or older, representing 13 percent of the population. This 13 percent also represents the highest fire risk population in the United States.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Division of Safety Inspection, has the duty of surveying health care establishments to determine adherence with federal certification and state licensure.

In Pennsylvania, long-term care facilities are inspected annually, and an analysis and review of the structural design and fireproofing are done. Within that configuration, fire alarm, smoke detection systems, electrical systems, plumbing, ventilation, and sprinkler systems are evaluated. Survey teams inspect how well the nursing home guarantees that its residents feel “at home” and how well the home provides care to its residents by meeting government standards.

Fire Safety Training in Legacy Place Cottages, a senior care home for Jehovah's Witnesses

Fire Safety Training in Legacy Place

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 3080 (May 29, 2021) and Chapter 2600 deals, especially with Personal Care Homes. Here are some links for more information:
2600.121.    Unobstructed egress.
2600.122.    Exits.
2600.123.    Emergency evacuation.
2600.124.    Notification of local fire officials.
2600.125.    Flammable and combustible materials.
2600.126.    Furnaces.
2600.127.    Space heaters.
2600.128.    Supplemental heating sources.
2600.129.    Fireplaces.
2600.130.    Smoke detectors and fire alarms.
2600.131.    Fire extinguishers.
2600.132.    Fire drills.
2600.133.    Exit signs.

Preventive Measures and Tips in Fire Safety

People often think that the most precarious part of the fire is the flames; however, it is the smoke that can travel quickly to areas far from the fire. Having credible fire safety arrangements is a vital element in managing any care home where elderly residents are particularly vulnerable. “Prevention is better than cure” is not a cliché in this case.

Here are a few precautions you can take to ensure fire safety and a few tips on how to diligently deal with a situation if it arises:

  • Keep updating fire risk assessments.
  • Make a contingency plan and update it regularly.
  • Set up good fire detection and alarm systems and maintain them.
  • Carry out regular fire safety training and fire drills.
  • Regularly service and maintain fire safety equipment.
  • Set up easily identifiable signs on escape routes and firefighting equipment.
  • Good housekeeping.

It is essential that we understand how important it is to be prepared, especially in a care home and at Legacy Place, we leave no stone unturned to ensure this. We hope this article has helped you, keep safe and please share this with everyone you know! Remember, there can be no compromise when it comes to fire safety.