Safety

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance: Four simple steps to an effective fire barrier management plan

Hospital Safety Insider, October 13, 2016

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Life safety concerns continue to be a central focus for healthcare accrediting agencies. Life safety citations have been among the top 10 cited issues by The Joint Commission for the past several years. DNV and HFAP are also concerned with hospitals maintaining a safe physical environment; hospitals and healthcare facilities house the most vulnerable population. In the event of an emergency, particularly a fire, evacuation is not easy and puts patients, healthcare providers, and other building occupants at great risk.

In most hospitals, the burden falls on the facility manager to ensure the facility's life safety compliance. Passive fire protection-an important third of the life safety equation, along with sprinklers and alarms-can be a challenge to manage, particularly in hospitals where most buildings are in a constant state of change with upgrading equipment, running new wires, making more room for patients.

Firestopping is one of the most complex aspects of passive fire protection for two main reasons. First is the ever-changing nature of facilities-one small pencil-size hole through a rated wall compromises the integrity of the barrier. Second, unless a listed and tested firestop system is used to seal an open penetration, the barrier's rating will not be upheld. Developing and implementing a fire barrier management plan (FBMP) can assist facility managers with proactively maintaining passive fire protection in their facilities so they can be confident that their facilities are safe for their occupants and that they are in compliance for the next accrediting agencies' audit.

Read more here.



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