Although it’s not often feasible to prevent a fire, aged care facility managers and owners in Melbourne should be adequately prepared to deal with any possibility. Use an emergency readiness checklist to guide you to create your own emergency plan to be adequately prepared. Along with being completely aware of any fire risks on site, you need to make an effort to work towards minimizing these risks as well as provide firefighting equipment and systems, in accordance with the appropriate compliance requirements.

Firefighting equipment in aged care facility requires both careful planning and technical knowledge, given the need to safeguard the sick, the weak and often immobile residents as well as the sophisticated medical equipment housed in these facilities. Insufficient or inappropriate firefighting equipment and fire safety procedures may subject residents and staff to dangers, leading to possible injury as well as loss of life.

Every aged care facility has individual firefighting equipment requirements. Firefighting equipment could be custom designed to match specific needs and budgets and can include a combination of fire protection products, equipment, and systems such as:
 

Fire Extinguisher

 

Fire extinguisher

Photo Credit: Matteo Appiano

Fire extinguishers are provided as the “first line of defense” firefighting measure, commonly undertaken by the occupants of the facility before the fire service arrives. It is important that residents and staff are familiar with which extinguisher type to use on which fire.
 

Fire Alarm and Smoke Detection System

 

Fire alarm system changeover

Photo Credit: Jim

Australian Standard 1670.1 requires all aged care facilities to install smoke detection systems – reinforcing fire safety in residential care buildings. These systems have to be installed in all rooms of the facility. This includes publicly-accessible areas and all corridors.
 

Sprinkler Systems

 
Time is crucial in the control of fire. Properly operating sprinkler systems are one of the most dependable strategies available for controlling fires. Fire sprinkler systems provide state of the art protection of life and property from the effects of fire.
 

Fire Hose Reels

 

Fire Hose Reel

Photo Credit: Theen Moy

Fire hose reels are provided for use by facility residents or staff as a ‘first attack’ firefighting measure but may, in some situations, can also be utilized by firefighters. Since hose reels are located alongside an exit, in an emergency it is possible to reach a safe place simply by following the hose.

A fire evacuation plan must also be in place for all aged care facilities. A map showing the emergency exit for each area; should be displayed in all patient rooms, corridors, and throughout the floor. This map provides guidance for caregivers and other personnel. It must follow the evacuation plan provided by the facility owner or manager.

Firefighting equipment in aged care facilities should be installed and maintained in accordance with pertinent legislation and standards. Every facility owner or manager must take the effort to familiarize themselves with the installed equipment and be aware of what is appropriate to their individual facility. Fire safety training is likewise very crucial as it can help ensure that residents and staff are aware of the building’s emergency management and evacuation plan.

Fire protection specialists like FCF Fire & Electrical Melbourne can work with facility management to ensure any identified fire hazards are minimized through routine maintenance and inspections of firefighting equipment. FCF Fire & Electrical Melbourne offer a range of Firefighting equipment like commercial fire alarm systems, fire sprinklers, fire detection systems, fire extinguishers, exit and emergency lighting with 5-year exit light warranty, online fire training courses, hydrant testing, RCD testing, electrical works and many more. Contact us today for a free quote.

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