Safety

Medical Environment Update: A discussion about fire attention and prevention

Hospital Safety Insider, November 3, 2016

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A discussion about fire attention and prevention

October was Fire Prevention Month, but you should be thinking fire safety throughout the year

Editor's note: In this guest column, Dan Scungio, MT(ASCP), SLS, laboratory safety officer for Sentara Healthcare in Virginia and otherwise known as "Dan, the Lab Safety Man," discusses the important issues that affect your job every day.

It's that time when you should be raising awareness about fire safety in the laboratory. Fires occur in high enough numbers in the United States (even in laboratories) that we need to pay attention and focus on prevention.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) uses eight checklist standards to cover lab fire safety, and even though CAP has made some changes in the past few years, all of the elements are still there to help you prepare and protect your staff in the event of a fire. There are many fire sources in the lab setting, and even more fire accelerants, and their presence alone should help us realize the importance of fire safety knowledge. However, many go through their daily work routines without giving fire safety a second thought. When a fire occurs, they will not be ready, and the results could be devastating.

Fire safety training should be conducted with all staff. Per OSHA requirements, if a facility contains firefighting equipment, staff must have documented training on its use. See p. 6 for a sample attendance sheet that you can use for your training purposes, and keep training documentation on hand for three years.

Read more here.



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