“We have to aim to
ensure “zero tolerance” with regard to risk of fire. With this aim in
the focus, we have to align all our efforts and converge to achieve this
goal.” This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and
Family Welfare while inaugurating a National Workshop on ‘Life and Fire
Safety in Healthcare Facilities in India’, here today. The workshop
wasjointly organized by Ministry of Health and All India Institute of
Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi with active participation of School
of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, Delhi Fire Services, National
Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi and Central Building
Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee. The main objective of the workshop
was to sensitize the hospital administrators and engineering heads about
important issues related to life and fire safety in healthcare
Speaking at the function, ShriNadda said that sensitization towards fire
safety is key to preventing any untoward incident in hospitals. “The dos
and don’ts must be understood first and should be strictly followed. We
must also make sure that it goes down to every level,” ShriNadda added.
The Health Minister further said that doctors and engineering staff
should be fully aware of their role towards fire and life safety. “Our
nurses and doctors are the first responders in such an eventuality. In
fact, doctors and nurses would provide the guidance and support if
patients are to be moved and where they have to be moved considering the
condition of patients,” ShriNadda stated.
Laying stress on having safe evacuation during emergencies,ShriNadda
said that it has been noticed that corridors, staircases are not
properly maintained to provide safe egress, sometimes emergency doors
are locked even when patients are in a position to move out. “This is
fundamental but often ignored, due to security reasons. Hospital
administrations should resolve this problem in consultation with
security experts. Please ensure that access and egress is not
compromisedand proper fire escape routes and measures are in place
especially in operation theatres and ICUs so that patients inside these
rooms can be evacuated properly during emergencies,” ShriNadda
ShriNadda also emphasized on the need for training and capacity building
among the hospital staff especially doctors, nurses and attendants so
that they can undertake routine assessments of emerging risks, including
those arising due to alterations and also conduct audits through
internal technical staff.ShriNadda also directed the officials of the
participating Institutions/Hospitals to develop time bound fire safety
action plan of the building/block of their Hospital/Institution. He
further instructed them to undertake quarterly fire drills so that the
hospital staff is sensitized and is aware of their responsibility.
ShriNadda also asked the participants to conduct fire audits regularly
which will be monitored by the Ministry.
The workshop was attended by Heads of 23 Hospitals/ Institutes under the
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and their concerned officers. A
mock drill was also conducted in the premises of AIIMS, New Delhi. In
the workshop the participants got a comprehensive understanding of the
scope of life and fire safety in healthcare buildings in terms of best
practices as well as applicable codes and standards by participants.
Also present at the function were DrArun Panda, Additional Secretary (HFW),
ShriSanjeeva Kumar, Addl. Secy (HFW), Dr B D Athani, Special DGHS, Dr.
M.C.Misra, Director AIIMS, New Delhi
andother senior officers of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.