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:
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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