Second Quarter 2013 Newsletter
Second Quarter, 2013
With the assisted living facility fire sprinkler mandate coming in a few short months, F.E. Moran Fire Protection has chosen to feature the article "Fire Protection for Immobile Patients: Top 3 Questions to Ask." Installing fire protection can seem like a daunting task in an occupied building; however, with these tips, you will learn how simple it can be to coordinate installation with residents.
All assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and senior living facilities need to have fire sprinklers installed before the August 13, 2013 deadline. We hope that this article provides some insight into the fire sprinkler installation process and explains how to work with immobile patients during the installation and if or when a fire emergency arises.
President, F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois
President, F.E. Moran Fire Protection National
On Sunday, February 17, 1957, a visitor at Katie Jane Nursing Home in Warrenton, Missouri saw flames shooting out of a utility closet during religious services. One hundred and fifty-five people lived in the two and a half story nursing home at the time of the fire, but only eighty-five people survived the fire. It was determined that the facility had inadequate fire escapes, no sprinkler system, no alarm system, no evacuation plan, and some residents were locked inside their rooms. This fire helped pave the way for fire protection in assisted living facilities.
Beginning August 13, 2013, a fire sprinkler mandate will require all assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and senior living facilities to have fire sprinklers installed to protect residents from fire. People 65 and older are more than twice as likely to perish in a residential fire, and oftentimes, residents in assisted living facilities are immobile, adding a new level of difficulty in the event of a fire. For this reason, it is imperative for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have a multi-tiered defensive fire protection plan.
What are the risks for non-ambulatory patients in a fire emergency?
From 2002 to 2005 2,810 structure fires ignited in nursing homes. This caused 16 civilian deaths, 130 injuries, and $6.6 million in direct property damage per year. Most fires began with a mattress, bedding material, electrical wiring, or cable insulation in the kitchen or bedroom. Bedroom fires were by far the most fatal. However, with automatic fire suppression, the death rate in a nursing home is lowered 94%. Immobile patients do not have a way to escape on their own. This is why fire sprinklers are a necessary part of any assisted living facility fire emergency plan.
An unattended candle caused hundreds of Cal Poly students to evacuate the student housing. The fire was isolated to one bedroom and was quickly extinguished by the fire sprinkler.
Brevard County Fire-Rescue investigators credited automatic fire sprinklers with containing a kitchen fire in an apartment complex. Initially the fire department was notified by the activated fire alarm, but then people began calling about the fire. The sprinkler contained the fire until fire fighters could arrive to extinguish it.
A fire ignited when cooking oil ignited on a stove top in Normal, IL. The resident attempted to smother the fire with a towel, but it caught fire. Then, the resident attempted to douse the flames in the sink with water, but that made the fire worse. The resident left the apartment and the fire sprinklers activated, extinguishing the fire.