Good housekeeping is the best guarantee against fire. Do all you can to maintain order and cleanliness in the interest of fire prevention. Make it a habit to watch for and report fire hazards.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT FIRES
- Keep all trash or waste material in fireproof trash receptacles, and empty them frequently so waste does not accumulate.
- This is a smoke free building. Please do not allow employees or visitors to smoke in the building.
- Limit smoking to designated areas equipped with appropriate receptacles in which to dispose of cigarette waste.
- Keep all trashcans away from drapes or other flammable window coverings.
- If a fire does ignite in a trash receptacle and no water is nearby, turn an empty trashcan over the fire. This should help smother the fire.
- Turn off all electrical appliances in kitchen areas, and all computers, copying machines, and other business machines at the close of each business day.
- Do not overload electrical circuits.
- Check all electrical cords for fraying to prevent a spark that might ignite a flammable item.
- Do not store cleaning chemicals in a warm enclosed location that might promote spontaneous combustion.
- Do not store cardboard boxes, packing materials, or other flammable items in common areas or stairwells. Aside from the possibility that they might catch on fire, these items could also block your exit route in the event of a fire.
- Do not allow portable space heaters in the suite as they are definite fire hazards.
BE PREPARED FOR A FIRE EMERGENCY
- Never lock fire exit doors, halls or stairways. Fire doors provide a way out during the fire and slow the spread of fire and smoke. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.
- Learn your building evacuation plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do if the fire alarm sounds. Plan and practice your escape plan together.
- Be sure you know the location of the fire alarm pull stations, the firefighting equipment and exits in your area.
- Be sure to set up a meeting area outside of the building and away from the path of the emergency vehicles. This will be used for your office manager to verify that all staff members are accounted for.
The first person to discover a fire must remain calm and react in a calculated manner. If you see or smell smoke, initiate this fire plan immediately. Early detection means prompt extinguishing of fires. Be especially alert at night and early morning hours when fewer personnel are on duty. Remember the following steps upon discovering a fire:
- RESCUE - call aloud “Code Red” then rescue any patient in immediate danger due to fire or smoke.
- ALARM - Pull nearest fire alarm pull station and call 911 with follow up notification to Security by calling 615-801-0064.
- CONFINE - Confine the fire and smoke as much as possible. Close doors and windows of any room that contains smoke or fire.
- EXTINGUISH or ESCAPE - If the fire is small - Know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher in your area. Secure fire extinguisher and fight the fire. If you cannot extinguish the fire in 2 minutes or less, EVACUATE the area after containing the fire.
- All hand-held extinguishers operate in essentially the same manner. Each has a pin (which secures the discharge handle), a discharge handle, and a hose. To use the extinguisher, remove the pin, straighten the hose and point it at the base of the fire, and squeeze the discharge handle. Always move the extinguisher discharge from side to side across the fire. Remove, and use short, repeated bursts.
- Never attempt to put out any sort of electrical fire with water. Only a Dry Chemical or Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher should be used on electrical fires. All extinguishers in the building are ABC type and can be used on all fires.
Remember, PASS to operate a fire extinguisher to turn a potential catastrophe into a controllable event!
P=Pull the pin
A=Aim at the base of fire
S=Squeeze the trigger
S=Sweep side to side
Use the fire extinguisher only if you feel that the fire can be controlled. Remember to keep a path to safety between you and the fire. Always cautiously approach any fire and never get closer than 6-8 feet while attempting to put it out. If the fire cannot be extinguished in two minutes or less, leave the area immediately.
The general alarm for a fire in the facility consists of an automated audible alarm and flashing lights. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE ELEVATORS - USE THE STAIRWELLS TO EXIT THE BUILDING. When the alarm is sounded, the elevators will immediately descend to the ground floor and the doors will automatically open.
SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MEDICAL OFFICE SUITES
If the fire is in another department or suite:
- If treatment is underway, take protective measures for the patient.
- Turn off oxygen, and electrical machines as soon as possible.
- Calmly see that patients in the waiting area are moved to a safe location.
- Close all doors. If smoke or gases are seeping into a treatment area, place wet towels around the doors.
- Cashiers should place all cash and valuables in one receptacle and safeguard it.
- Secure all files.
- Station one person at the telephone to relay instructions.
- Prepare suite for evacuation.
(If so directed by Fire Department)
Before you try to leave your office, feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Stay in your office. If the door is not warm to the touch, follow these evacuation instructions:
- If you do attempt to open the door, brace your body against the door while staying low to the floor and slowly open it a crack. What you are doing is checking for the presence of smoke or fire in the hallway.
- If there is no smoke in the hallway or stairwells, follow your building’s evacuation plan.
- If you encounter smoke or flames on your way out, immediately return to your office.
Move all patients, employees, and visitors from the building in a safe, orderly manner. Direct people to the nearest stairwell and instruct them to descend to the ground floor and exit the building to a safe distance outside. As part of the fire safety plan for your office, designate a meeting area where a quick count can be taken to ensure that all employees and patients are accounted for.
HANDLING OF PATIENTS FOR EVACUATIONS
Order of evacuation - this should be determined according to patients’ physical condition.
- 1st - Ambulatory: - Assemble these patients first. Appoint a helper to accompany them to the safest part of the same floor near an exit. The fire department will evacuate these patients to a safer area upon arrival.
- 2nd - Wheelchair: - Use wheelchairs to remove these patients to safe place on the same floor near an exit. Once the fire department arrives, inform them of the number and location of these patients or employees.
- 3rd - Stretcher and Helpless: - Some patients may be able to walk, with support, to a safer part of the building. Others must wait for stretcher-bearers. If a patient is helpless, roll him in a blanket and drag along the floor by holding the corner of the blanket. Give the patient a wet towel to cover the face. The area near the floor is the safest and most comfortable in a smoke-filled atmosphere.
Please review the evacuation routes and become familiar with your escape route.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EVACUATE
- Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out.
- If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again to tell them exactly where you are located. Do this even if you can see fire apparatus on the street below.
- Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a sheet.
- If possible, open the window at the top and bottom, but do not break it, you may need to close the window if smoke rushes in.
SUMMARY OF EVACUATION
Constant training, drill, and study should prepare personnel to remember all these important points:
- Get patients away from immediate danger zone.
- Move all exposed patients horizontally, away from the danger zone to a safer place on the same level whenever possible.
- Communicate with non-English speaking patients by using hand gestures.
- Patients and employees who are wheelchair bound should be moved as far away from the danger zone as possible and placed in a stairwell or other safe place to await rescue from trained professionals.
- Move patients off the floor if there is immediate danger to the entire floor, or if indicated to do so by the first responders.
- Always evacuate patients downward toward the ground level, unless a way is cut off. If so use the nearest alternate fire safe stairway.
- Before sending patients to the stairway have someone check to be sure the stairway is clear of smoke, overcrowding, or panic.
- Unless instructed to move patients outside the building, go to a safer lower level. This may save dangerous exposure in the case of bad weather.
- Do not use elevators during a fire evacuation. The only exception to this is if you are instructed to do so by a member of the fire department.
Review the evacuation routes and become familiar with your escape route.
APPOINT SAFETY CAPTAINS
This person should be someone who commands the respect of fellow employees, stays calm in emergencies, and is very familiar with appropriate exits, pull stations, and fire extinguishers.
- Each Suite Captain is responsible for knowing the designated exit stairway for their suite in the event of an emergency evacuation. Suite Captains should search their suite and make sure everyone is accounted for and report their findings to the stairwell Captain at their assigned exit stairwell.
- If upon reaching the exit stairway, a Suite Captain finds the stairway Captain is not in position, he or she should assume the duties of the Stairway Captain.
- Ensure that all occupants are clear from their areas.
- Lead occupants from their area into the designated exit stairway, be sure that the stairway door is not hot and that the stairway itself does not contain heavy smoke.
- Ensure that evacuees proceed down the exit stairway single file keeping to the right.
We will need one person to volunteer from each floor to be a Floor Captain. Floor Captains ensure their group stays together and should take a head count once the evacuation is complete.
Please complete the Floor Captain Designation form and email your Property Manager at email@example.com.