Emergency Preparedness News and Announcements

Fire Emergency

CODE: RED

Defined

Outbreak of fire in facility, and/or facility grounds

Immediate Action – RACE

R Rescue Rescue/Evacuate persons in immediate danger.
A Alarm Pull nearest “pull station.” Announce “CODE RED” and fire location over loud speaker. Repeat the announcement.
C Confine Confine the fire by closing doors to isolate the fire and smoke.
E Extinguish Attempt to extinguish the fire only if the first three parts of the R.A.C.E. Procedure have been completed and the fire appears to be manageable.

General Staff Assignments

  1. Call 911.
  2. Notify Administrator and Director of Nursing and (facility to fill in appropriate titles/positions) if not on the premises. The Recall Roster should be activated, if warranted.
  3. Activate the Incident Command System (ICS). The most qualified staff member on duty at the time will assume the Incident Commander position. If severity of fire warrants, then appoint other positions of the ICS structure.
  4. Shut down elevators.
  5. Stay calm and reassure residents—do not mention fire.
  6. Evacuation in this plan may mean moving to a safe Area of Refuge. This does not necessarily mean emptying the building unless each wing/section is expected to be evacuated beyond fire doors or to the nearest exit.
  7. Keep all smoke/fire doors closed. Limit passage through smoke partitions.
  8. Keep all doors closed in resident rooms and functional rooms (storage, pantry, linen, etc.).
  9. Keep all stairwell doors closed.
  10. Close all windows.
  11. Understand that the sprinkler system (if present) will likely control the fire.
  12. Shut off oxygen or other medical gasses that could contribute to the spread of the fire.
  13. Connect O2 concentrators to all residents requiring oxygen.
  14. Coordinate all internal emergency operations with the Fire Department. The Fire Department can quickly assist in controlling the situation provided that a good line of communication is established between the Incident Commander and the Fire Officer in charge.
  15. The situation should be deemed “under control” only after the Fire Department has concluded its emergency operations and the Incident Commander has declared the situation “safe.”
  16. Communicate an “All Clear” after the situation is declared safe by the Fire Department.

If Evacuation is required

  1. Evacuate residents according to the size of the fire and the volume of smoke production. The Incident Commander will give guidance on evacuation type.
    1. Phase I: Evacuate the rooms on either side and directly across from the room that is on fire. Move residents to an area away from the fire. This type of evacuation should be used during the initial stages of a small fire.
    2. Phase II: Evacuate all residents from the smoke compartment where the fire has occurred to the opposite smoke compartment (through the smoke doors). This type of evacuation should be used when moderate smoke conditions are present or the welfare of the residents is in jeopardy based on the situation.
    3. Phase III: FIRE DEPARTMENT ORDERED EVACUATION. Evacuate all residents from the building by whatever means possible. This type of evacuation should only be used during a major fire or severe smoke conditions within the building as ordered by the Fire Department.
  2. Determine the order of evacuation by resident type. Examples are:
    1. Ambulatory residents
    2. Residents with assistive devices
    3. Residents in wheelchairs
    4. Bedridden residents
  3. Assign a staff member(s) to stay with each resident group to prevent panic and re-entry into dangerous areas.
  4. Coordinate all internal emergency operations with the Fire Department. The Fire Department can quickly assist in controlling the situation provided that a good line of communication is established between the Incident Commander and the Fire Officer in charge.
  5. The situation should be deemed “under control” only after the Fire Department has concluded its emergency operations and the Incident Commander has declared the situation “safe.”
  6. Communicate an “All Clear” after the situation is declared safe by the Fire Department.

Specific Staff Assignments

  1. Administrator/Incident Commander
    1. Report to the fire alarm panel and determine the location of the activation.
    2. Report to the area of activation and assess the situation.
    3. Supervise emergency operations (evacuation, fire control, chart removal, etc.).
    4. Upon arrival of the Fire Department, establish contact with the officer in charge and relay all relevant information regarding the situation or designate someone to do so.
    5. Coordinate all emergency operations with the Fire Department.
    6. Ensure all staff members and residents are accounted for and safe.
  2. Director of Nursing
    1. Report to the fire alarm panel and determine the location of the activation.
    2. Report to the area of activation and provide instruction to staff members regarding the location to remove residents, starting with the residents who are closest to the area of the fire.
    3. Ensure that all windows and doors are closed.
    4. Coordinate operations with the Incident Commander to determine the type of evacuation that will be necessary for the situation.
    5. Instruct Certified Nursing Assistants to remain with residents in an attempt to keep them calm and prevent them from returning to the fire area. Perform a complete head count to ensure that all residents are accounted for.
  3. Nursing Staff
    1. Report to the area of fire alarm activation.
    2. Quickly assess the magnitude of the situation.
    3. Initiate Evacuation Procedures.
    4. Close all doors and windows, as residents are evacuated.
    5. Connect O2 concentrators to all residents requiring oxygen.
    6. Shut off oxygen or other medical gasses that could contribute to the spread of the fire.
    7. Secure medical records.
    8. Perform a complete head count to ensure that all residents are accounted for.
    9. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the Incident Commander and/or Fire Department.
  4. Certified Nursing Assistants
    1. Initiate Evacuation Procedures and close all doors and windows of resident rooms.
    2. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the Incident Commander.
  5. 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 Incident Commander.
  6. ActivityStaff
    1. Report to the area of fire alarm activation, providing that staff are not in the middle of a supervised activity.
    2. If conducting an activity during alarm activation, stay with residents and remain calm.
    3. Relocate all residents from immediate danger.
    4. If available, assist with other emergency operations at the direction of the Incident Commander.
  7. Maintenance Personnel
    1. Report to the fire alarm panel and determine the location of the activation.
    2. Immediately respond to the area of activation.
    3. While in route, retrieve a fire extinguisher that is in the path of response in order to provide additional fire extinguishing capacity at the fire scene.
    4. Ensure that the appropriate Evacuation Procedures are in progress and attempt to control the fire if required.
    5. Once the fire is under control, attempt to de-power the fire area by shutting down circuit breakers for the fire area.
    6. Assist the Fire Department in whatever way required.
    7. NEVER shut down the fire sprinkler system during a fire unless ordered to do so by the Fire Department.
  8. All Other Employees (housekeeping, laundry, dietary, etc.)
    1. Report to the area of fire alarm activation after securing your individual work area and assist with emergency operations per the direction of the Incident Commander.
    2. Secure your individual work area by shutting down all machinery (kitchen equipment, laundry equipment, computers, etc.) and storing all vital papers or currency in a metal container (desk, cabinet, etc.).
    3. When leaving your individual work area, ALWAYS close all doors and windows to help reduce the effects of potential smoke damage.
    4. Do not return to your work area until the situation is under control.

Preparing Ahead/Training

  1. (facility name) employees should be trained to utilize the R.A.CE. Procedure and notify the Fire Department of the exact circumstances of the situation.
  2. All staff should receive training 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.
  3. Facility must track and record staff training including date, trainer name, roster of attendees, focus of training.

See Also

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