Healthcare buildings play a vital role in society. From residential care homes to hospitals, keeping these healthcare buildings safe and secure is something that needs careful planning and strategy. In instances of emergency, effective fire and security systems can make all the difference and quite literally be the difference between life and death.
Healthcare settings bring with them unique fire and security risks, resulting in the need for careful design and installation of proficient systems. In buildings that often look after very vulnerable people, those managing and working in such environments need confidence that their fire and security systems are fit for the job.
In this article, we provide an overview of specific systems that healthcare buildings can leverage to create safe and secure spaces.
Healthcare Fire and Security Systems
Reducing the impact potential fires could have within a healthcare setting is paramount. Particularly in buildings such as residential care homes, whereby residents are living there and may have limited mobility, there can be unique challenges that need addressing.
Healthcare settings undoubtedly have fire risks. For example, kitchens in care homes, old appliances, and cigarette smoke, can all be common causes for outbreaks in such places.
Fire risk assessments should be carried out frequently and data logged to ensure any potential causes for fires are identified and resolved to reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out in the first place.
All systems must be compliant to BS5839 Part 1 2017 for Fire and HTM-05 for Health.
Fire and smoke alarms lay at the heart of any fire system. They help detect and sound the alarm if any fire or smoke is present. This helps ensure everyone can be evacuated as quickly as possible, reducing the risk of serious harm to human life.
Not all fire alarms are created equal and specialist engineers can help guide building managers through the very best systems and products available within budget. These systems should be designed and installed by an accredited professional to ensure they meet the highest safety standards.
For local fires, such as in a kitchen, fire extinguishers can be useful to help control the very early stages of an outbreak. This can hopefully stop the fire becoming a serious threat to life.
Having extinguishers located throughout a healthcare building is recommended.
For situations when water, foam or powder extinguishing systems are not effective and/or could cause significant damage, gas extinguishing systems can be used. These types of systems are ideal for protecting high asset value areas, such as data storage, storage facilities and UPS rooms. Activated by a smoke detection system that detects the early presence of smoke, they extinguish fire with the help of a gaseous extinguishing agent either by oxygen displacement (removing the oxygen content) or physical effects (heat extraction).
Manual Call Points
Careful planning and strategy can go a long way in fire prevention. Subtle nuances, such as installing fire alarm manual call points lower so those in wheelchairs can sound the alarm, are simple but effective solutions for settings such as care homes or other healthcare buildings.
From protecting patient data, to avoiding pharmaceutical drugs being stolen, there are specific challenges that face healthcare security systems.
Breaches in healthcare security can make headlines and, as a result, preventative systems need to be robust and efficient.
Access control systems provide an effective solution for managing who has access within a building. Within a healthcare setting, this is incredibly important and preventing unauthorised access to certain areas or the entirety of the building is often a fundamental requirement.
Access control systems also make it easy to authorise different levels of access for employees, which in terms of a large hospital, is again, a very useful feature.
From small stand-alone key code entry systems to large, networked audio/video entry systems with card, fob or biometric systems, we can help you understand all the options available to you.
CCTV provides an effective solution to combat crime and theft. Not only can it capture incriminating evidence that can be used to prosecute criminals, but the very presence of CCTV is proven to reduce the risk of criminal activity happening in the first place.
The benefits of CCTV extend beyond preventing crime and can also be used to help inform major decisions to improve productivity, output and protect reputations. Managers can study potential vulnerabilities and gain deeper insights into how the building is used by those visiting it.
Here at Sovereign Fire and Security, our systems include remote access and mobile monitoring, to give you access to your building wherever you are in the world. This can help in multi-location organisations that may want quick access to each site.
Should a break-in occur, having an effective intruder alarm set up helps to alert the authorities as quickly as possible, forcing thieves to abandon their original plans and leave.
All healthcare settings can benefit from intruder alarms and preventing unauthorised access. In most instances, healthcare buildings would benefit from having alarms that are directly connected to emergency services, ensuring police can arrive at the scene instantly.
We can tailor your system to meet your requirements and all current legislation. We are NACOSS Gold approved and ISO9001. All systems comply with PD6662/EN545031-1/DD243.
Learn More About Sovereign Fire and Security
Here at Sovereign Fire and Security, we offer a broad range of services to improve the safety and security of buildings, including those in the healthcare sector.
All our engineers are accredited and carry out any design and installation work to the highest standards. We will listen to your specific concerns and challenges to design and install systems that exceed your expectations and that come within budget. Our wealth of experience means we have practical knowledge of all sorts of products and manufacturers.
We also offer ongoing maintenance services to provide peace of mind for our clients, should you need any emergency support.
To learn more about our fire and security services and how we can support your project, simply get in touch with our expert team today.