Safety

Staff members must be made aware of unprotected barrier penetrations

Hospital Safety Insider, October 22, 2008

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Unprotected penetrations can negate the fire protection features of smoke and fire barriers by allowing smoke and toxic gases to pass through the holes.

For that reason, it is important to let frontline staff members know when a barrier has penetrations, said Brad Keyes, CHSP, safety consultant for The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro in Marblehead, MA. Keyes spoke during HCPro’s audio-conference this week, "Life Safety Compliance in 2009: How to Meet The Joint Commission’s New Standards."

If employees aren’t educated about penetrations and there is a fire in their unit, they may simply relocate patients to the other side of the barrier and mistakenly believe they are safe there, Keyes said. In such cases, encourage staff members to establish alternative evacuation sites where they and their patients will be safe should a fire occur.

If you’d like to listen to an on-demand archive of our life safety audio-conference, click here. HCPro will also present an audio-conference about the 2009 emergency management standards on November 3.
 
 



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