It is advisable for all healthcare establishments to have an operational policy which details the roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency such as a fire. The responsible personnel need to be trained in the actions they need to take in the event of this type of emergency.
For guidance on how to prepare a suitable operational policy please consult BOC Healthcare’s Medical Engineering Services (MES).
Typical initial actions in the event of a fire are:
Operate the fire drill
Notify the fire services, warning them of the presence of medical gas cylinders (and / or pipeline gases)
Shut off pipeline isolation valves supplying the affected areas and notify other relevant departments that may be affected either by the fire or the loss of gas supply
Evacuate the immediate area
Once the immediate actions have been taken – and provided it is safe to do so, you may:
If it is safe to move the cylinders, close cylinder valve to stop flow of product and move away from source of heat
Unless you are trained in the use of either fire extinguishers or fire hoses do not attempt to fight a fire in which cylinders are directly involved. If you have had appropriate training, endeavor to keep the cylinder cool by using a fire hose from a protected position. Do not take any undue risks.
After the fire
Cylinders which have been involved in a fire should be identified and segregated from all other cylinders. Under no circumstances should their contents be used. Immediately inform BOC Healthcare that the cylinders have been involved in a fire.
The cylinder(s) will be collected as quickly as possible and returned for examination.