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Centre issues advisory on fire incidents in hospitals

Representatives of private hospitals attending a seminar on fire safety organised by the Fire and Rescue Services Department, in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu on May 4, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) wrote to the States on Wednesday to put in place a plan of action and ensure that no fire incident occurs in any of the health facilities, particularly COVID-19 dedicated centres both in the government and the private sector.

The MHA’s communication comes in the wake of the fire incidents, caused by short-circuiting, in hospitals and nursing homes in the recent past.

“In a communication today to Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of Union Territories, the Union Home Secretary has said that in the context of recent fire incidents and particularly in view of the impending summer season it needs to be highlighted that either because of high temperature, lack of maintenance or high load on the internal wirings within the facilities, short circuiting takes place, leading to fire incidents and consequential loss of life and essential infrastructure,” an MHA statement said.

Detailed plan of action

The States and UTs have been requested to conduct a detailed review with officials from the Health, Power and Fire Departments, and prepare a detailed plan of action to ensure that fire safety measures are in place in all hospitals and health facilities.

The States have been requested to issue directions to the officials concerned at various levels that health facilities should be visited by field level officials, internal wiring and availability of functional safety equipment as per fire safety guidelines examined and necessary remedial action taken in case any deficiencies are found.

The MHA also mentioned an advisory by the Director General (Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards), on fire safety in hospitals and nursing homes.

“The communication also highlights that a large number of COVID-19 cases are under treatment in COVID-dedicated health facilities across the country. In most of the cases, oxygen supported beds, ICU beds, and ventilators are critical interventions, and therefore, it is important to ensure that there is uninterrupted power supply on regular 24x7 basis, in all the hospitals and medical facilities,” it said.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 11:39:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-issues-advisory-on-fire-incidents-in-hospitals/article34490335.ece

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