Emergency Preparedness News and Announcements

Fire Watch/Fire System Disabled

CODE: PLAIN SPEECH/TEXT

Defined

A plan of action should the power system fail to work properly. Fire alarm system outages can occur during construction, renovation, electrical storms, or other unplanned events that eliminate part or all of the fire alarm system. A fire alarm system could include but is not limited to:

    • fire alarm panel
    • fire department notification system
    • smoke or heat detection system
    • sprinkler system

A fire watch tour is a periodic walking tour of the facility by one or more assigned and trained staff. The tour monitors the facility through direct observation of all rooms, including resident rooms, mechanical and electrical rooms, kitchen, laundry, etc. for possible signs of fire.

CMS Guideline (2016) regarding Fire Watch — 483:70 Physical Environment When a sprinkler system is shut down for more than 10 hours, the facility must:

  • evacuate the building, or portion of the building by the system is back in service, or
  • establish a fire watch until the system is back in service

Immediate Action

  1. Contact the Administrator, Director of Nursing, and Maintenance Director and (facility to fill in appropriate titles/positions) when any problems are identified with the fire alarm system.
  2. Contact the fire alarm company if the Maintenance Director (or other responsible position) is unable to correct the problem.
  3. Notify the (Fire Department) at (phone number) and Kentucky Office of Inspector General (phone number) that the fire alarm system is not working correctly, and that procedures are in place until the system is restored.

General Staff Assignments

  1. Facility management staff report to the Incident Command Post for instruction. If necessary, activate the Incident Command System (ICS) to manage the incident. The most qualified staff member on duty at the time will assume the Incident Commander position.
  2. Fire watch tours will be initiated throughout the facility. Fire watch tours should occur at one-half hour intervals, 24 hours a day.
  3. Fire watch tours will be documented with findings noting date, time, and staff initials.
  4. Fire watch tours should be performed by personnel solely dedicated to the fire watch with no other facility-related activities or events.
  5. Maintenance staff report on site or on call for equipment emergency shut- down situations.
  6. Distribute additional fire extinguishers facility-wide and inform staff of locations.
  7. Do not terminate the Fire Watch until all fire protection equipment has been restored to normal operating condition and upon the authority of the Administrator or designee.

Specific Staff Assignments

    1. Administrator/Incident Commander
      1. Determine the problem with the system.
      2. Establish contact with the fire alarm company.
      3. Contact Kentucky Office of Inspector General to notify of the situation and what actions are being taken to rectify.
      4. Notify the Fire Department.
      5. Activate the Incident Command System (ICS) to manage the incident.The most qualified staff member on duty at the time will assume the Incident Commander position.
      6. Alert management staff to report to the Incident Command Post.
      7. Select personnel to conduct fire watch tours and supervise.
      8. Ensure construction or renovation work areas are monitored.
      9. Supervise emergency operations if necessary (evacuation, fire control, chart removal, etc.).
    2. Management Staff of all Departments
      1. Report to the Incident Command Post
    3. Director of Nursing
      1. Report to the Incident Command Post.
      2. Ensure ALL SMOKING IS TO OCCUR OUTSIDE with a staff member present.
      3. Ensure all exits are unobstructed.
      4. Ensure fire doors remain closed.
      5. Ensure all windows are closed.
      6. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.
    4. Nursing Staff
      1. Remove smoking materials and extension cords from resident rooms.
      2. Ensure ALL SMOKING IS TO OCCUR OUTSIDE with a staff member present.
      3. Ensure all exits are unobstructed.
      4. Ensure fire doors remain closed.
      5. Ensure windows remain closed.
      6. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.
    5. Certified Nursing Assistants
      1. Remove smoking materials and extension cords from resident rooms.
      2. Ensure ALL SMOKING IS TO OCCUR OUTSIDE with a staff member present.
      3. Ensure all exits are unobstructed.
      4. Ensure fire doors remain closed.
      5. Ensure all windows are closed.
      6. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.
    6. Office Staff/Medical Records
      1. Secure all records by storing them in the appropriate metal cabinets.
      2. Back up electronic medical records system to off-site storage site
      3. Close all doors and windows in your work area.
      4. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.
    7. ActivityStaff
      1. Remove smoking materials and extension cords from resident rooms.
      2. Ensure ALL SMOKING IS TO OCCUR OUTSIDE with a staff member present.
      3. Ensure all exits are unobstructed.
      4. Ensure fire doors remain closed.
      5. Ensure all windows are closed.
      6. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.
    8. Maintenance Personnel
      1. Report to the Incident Command Post.
      2. Ensure all combustible/flammable items are stored properly and removed from mechanical and electrical rooms.
      3. Ensure dryer vents are clean.
      4. Ensure Fire Department/EMS access to the facility is clear from snow, ice, etc.
      5. Ensure Fire Department access to hydrants, sprinkler connections, standpipes, and fire extinguishers.
      6. Ensure exits are unobstructed.
      7. Ensure fire doors remain closed.
      8. Ensure unnecessary machinery that runs continuously is turned off.
      9. Ensure sprinkler valves are open and sealed, gauges indicate normal pressure, and sprinkler heads are unobstructed.
      10. Monitor construction or renovation work areas.
      11. Be prepared to shut down equipment as necessary.
      12. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the Incident Commander.
    9. All Other Employees (housekeeping, laundry, dietary, etc.)
      1. Remove lint from dryers.
      2. When leaving the individual work area, ALWAYS close all doors and windows.
      3. Ensure exits are unobstructed.
      4. Ensure fire doors remain closed.
      5. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.

Preparing Ahead/Training

      1. Train all staff in the proper use of fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are located in every corridor of the facility. The extinguishers, type A, B, or C, can be utilized in any type of fire.
      2. Select and train appropriate staff to preform fire watch tours and document findings noting date, time, and staff initials.
      3. Facility must track and record staff training including date, trainer name, roster of attendees, focus of training.

See Also

Bottled Water Emergency, Fire Emergency, Evacuation, Shelter in Place, Utility Outage, Wildland Fires