Plan to keep aged care facilities fire safe

By Dave Hipkins, National Technical and Product Manager with Wormald New Zealand 

Fire safety - aged care facilitiesWith infirm and often immobile residents, and a wide range of intricate medical equipment on site, fire protection in aged care facilities and nursing homes requires careful planning and technical knowledge.

If you’re responsible for managing an aged care facility, you must be fully aware of the fire risks on site and actively work towards minimising those risks.  It’s advisable that you consult a fire protection specialist to help identify the needs and fire hazards specific to your facility.  While preventing a fire may not always be possible, having inadequate or improper fire protection on site can expose residents and staff to dangers, lead to potential injury or in a worst case scenario, loss of life.

Every aged care facility has individual requirements.  Fire protection solutions can be custom designed to match specific needs and budgets and can include a combination of fire protection products, equipment and systems.  For example, a fire protection solution may involve fire detection and occupant warning systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire doors and portable fire equipment such as fire hose reels, fire blankets and fire extinguishers.

It’s critically important that all fire protection systems and equipment are designed and installed in accordance with the relevant legislation and Standards. Continue reading

Mandatory sprinklers in aged care facilities a welcome move

By Garry Kwok, National Manager, Technical Services Group with Wormald Australia

From January 2013 automatic sprinkler systems will become a mandatory requirement of nursing homes and other residential aged care facilities throughout NSW.

It’s a decision which I’m sure will be welcomed by many as it will significantly enhance the safety of these living environments for the State’s older and most vulnerable citizens.

Given the tragic consequences of a fire at a Quakers Hill nursing home in November 2011, it is not surprising that many groups, including Council of the Ageing (COTA) are calling for this legislation to be extended to all nursing homes throughout the country.

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