Elderly Lives Matter®

What are fire procedures in a nursing home?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

A fire in a nursing home can be a devastating event, and the staff needs to know how to respond. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes that nursing home staff members should have an evacuation plan and other fire procedures that have been written out. The staff should practice this and understand their roles if a fire happens. This type of training applies to any staff members, from registered nurses to kitchen staff or maintenance workers. Everyone needs to know how to keep the residents safe.

In addition, the nursing home needs to have proper safety systems installed. For example, nursing homes may have fire doors, which can be used to block fire and keep it from moving through the facility. The nursing home may also have a sprinkler system that should activate automatically as soon as a fire is detected. Naturally, nursing homes should also have simple safety devices like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

What would the safety procedures look like?

All nursing homes may have slightly different procedures, depending on the residents, the staff and the layout of the facility itself. But the NFPA outlines a basic quick response as:

  • Alerting other staff members. 
  • Activating a fire alarm. 
  • Identifying residents in immediate danger and evacuating them. 
  • Closing doors, even if they are not official fire doors. 
  • Double-checking to ensure that all residents were evacuated.

Unfortunately, residents can be harmed either by the fire itself or through smoke inhalation. This could be because the nursing home staff made mistakes or were negligent, and it could be because the facility didn’t have the right safety systems in place. Either way, family members need to know about all of their legal options after such a tragic event.

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