February 4th, 2024

What are the fire risks in healthcare?

In the complex world of hospitals and healthcare centres, the threat of fire goes beyond devastation—it touches lives at their most vulnerable. Patients, often immobile and reliant on others for safety, face unthinkable dangers in the event of a fire. As providers of Fire Safety solutions, we see the importance of providing healthcare settings with the information they need to act to reduce evacuation response time and prevent such disasters.

Not only does a fire pose an immediate threat to lives, but it also brings forth long-term consequences. Fires could spread beyond wards or rooms in which they start, and the financial and organisational consequences from fire damage can be considerable, often costing many tens of thousands of pounds, particularly if specialised equipment is involved. Whilst these are physical costs, the unavailability of critical facilities also bares a social cost by impacting waiting lists and patient well-being. Both the financial and social costs incurred can reverberate into the future, affecting essential services alongside reputational damage.

While stringent safety standards have kept hospital fires relatively rare, recent data by the Chief Fire Officers’ Association shows that in the past decade, the UK witnessed *3,648 fires in healthcare settings, resulting in 412 casualties and 4 fatalities. What’s more data from the NHS Digital, fire incidents within NHS Trusts have seen a concerning 15% rise over the past five years, with an average of 400 reported incidents annually.

The scale of these incidents is alarming, but what lies beneath the numbers is even more unsettling. A significant portion of these incidents results in injuries to both staff and patients, painting a stark picture of the tangible human cost associated with inadequate fire safety measures. But whilst there are clear consequences, there are a myriad of challenges for estate and facilities managers to navigate in maintaining cohesive fire safety strategies. For instance, it’s not untypical for facilities managers to be maintaining aging infrastructure, compromised fire doors, inadequate compartmentation, and operating different fire alarm manufacturer systems dispersed across sites.

These obstacles make it impossible for responsible persons to quickly understand whether they are on top of their fire safety strategies and compliance obligations. Fortunately, technologies like Drax Technology are redefining how healthcare settings manage their fire safety compliance responsibilities by:

  • Providing responsible persons with a clear understanding of when and where critical fire events occur so that events can be monitored and responded to correctly

  • Improving response times to events and minimising impacts by ensuring the people that need to respond to critical fire events have the information they need to act when needed.

  • Providing a complete audit trail of healthcare settings entire active and passive installed fire alarm systems so that they can safeguard the compliance requirements of the responsible persons. With a track record in helping healthcare settings in the UK and Ireland evidence their fire safety compliance Drax Technology has built a reputation as an essential tool for healthcare settings in ensuring their buildings, assets, patients and staff are safe.

If you like to find out more about how Drax Technology can help you be at the forefront of fire safety compliance book a demo


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