The National Fire Protection Association records an average of 6,000 structure fires in healthcare facilities each year. Nursing facilities and hospitals make up 80% of those fires. As a CNA that will most likely find work in a nursing home or general hospital, it is important to be aware of preventative measures as well as proper responses to structure fires in healthcare facilities.

Classification of Fires:

Class A: Produced by combustion of solid combustible materials that are not metals, such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, and plastics.

Class B: Oil or gas fires caused by ignition of a nonmetal in a liquid sate such as flammable liquids like gasoline, oil, acetone, or flammable gases.

Class C: Electrical fires caused by energized electrical equipment.

Class D: Fire caused by combustion of metals such as potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium. These fires are usually found in laboratories and will require special extinguishing agents, such as Metal-X foam, to dispel.

Common Locations of Fires in Healthcare Facilities:

  • Areas of the facility with heavy electrical equipment

  • A patient’s room

  • The Pathology Lab, or any similar space with flammable and explosive items

  • Any Battery Banks/Charging stations

Remember fires only need 2 things to burn:

  1. Fuel

  2. Oxygen

Be constantly aware of your surroundings, and be sure to REMOVE the resident from immediate danger!


In case of a fire, remember to RACE:

R - Remove resident from danger

A - Activate alarm

C  - Confine area of fire, shut doors and windows

E - Extinguish the fire if possible


Remember to PASS when using a fire extinguisher: 

P - Pull the pin

A - Aim the hose at the base of the fire

S - Squeeze the handle down

S - Sweep the hose back and forth towards the base of the fire

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