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6 Steps to Fire Safety Training in Your Adult Residential Care Facility

By Heather Brown
September 02, 2016

Fires are unpredictable and occur in the blink of an eye. Common fire starters include faulty wiring, wildfires, and human error. When they happen – they bring destruction, stress, chaos, and sometimes injury and death. According to FEMA, older adults are 2.5 times more likely to die as a result of a fire than other individuals. Why? They tend to have more difficulty moving freely due to age and illnesses.

Implementing fire safety training is the key to preventing fires and helping your residents. Use these 6 steps as a guide to create and implement fire safety training in your facility.1.

1. Create a written plan. Create a written fire safety plan highlighting 5 key areas:

  • How Fires Occur. What is needed to start a fire? Include a breakdown of the 5 fire types and their descriptions.
  • Fire Prevention. Identify what happens daily that places your facility at risk of a fire and how you can prevent them.

For example, adult residential care facilities prepare meals for residents. This means you face a daily risk of a kitchen grease fire. Prevent this by cleaning your kitchen tools, areas, and ventilation units on a regular basis and replace towels, rags, and oven pads daily. These actions keep kitchen grease to a minimum.

  • Fire Identification. Break down the types of fires and how to identify what steps employees need to take. When do they call 911? When do they use an extinguisher? What steps do they take to maintain resident safety?
  • Fire Extinguisher Use. Use graphics to show proper use of a fire extinguisher.
  • Fire Evacuation. Create an evacuation plan map and procedure that gets residents and employees to safety.

2. Train employees. Schedule training for your employees. Teach the plan page by page. Include a fire extinguisher demonstration and role-playing different fire scenarios.

3. Educate residents. Hold a mini-seminar for residents. Educate them on their role in fire prevention. Teach them what steps to take in the event a fire occurs.

4. Practice! Practice is critical. Identify areas needing improvement and make the necessary changes. Schedule drills monthly and when new residents arrive.

5. Maintain fire prevention hardware. Check fire extinguishers monthly. Important factors to check include the pressure gauge, seals, ease of use, and signs of damage. Replace batteries in  fire and carbon monoxide alarms every 6 months.

6. Repeat. Fire safety plans are never complete. Review the written plan yearly and make necessary updates. Repeat employee and resident training on a yearly basis and for new additions.

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