The Centre on Monday directed hospitals to develop fire safety action plans and conduct quarterly fire drills while emphasising the need for training of doctors and nurses to help them undertake assessments of such emerging risks.
With a fire incident killing over 20 people in a hospital in Odisha last year, Union Health Minister J P Nadda directed the hospitals to undertake quarterly fire drills so that the hospital staff is sensitised and is aware of their responsibility while asking them to conduct fire audits regularly which will be monitored by the Ministry.
“The Minster emphasised the need for training and capacity building among the hospital staff especially doctors, nurses and attendants so that they can undertake routine assessments of emerging risks, including those arising due to alterations and also conduct audits through internal technical staff.
“Nadda also directed the officials of the participating hospitals to develop time bound fire safety action plan of the building or block of their hospital. He further instructed them to undertake quarterly fire drills so that the hospital staff is sensitised and is aware of their responsibility. He also asked the participants to conduct fire audits regularly which will be monitored by the Ministry,” an official statement said.
He was speaking a national workshop on ‘Life and Fire Safety in Health care Facilities in India’ jointly organised by Health Ministry and AIIMS New Delhi with active participation of School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, Delhi Fire Services, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi and Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee. “We have to aim to ensure ‘zero tolerance’ with regard to risk of fire. With this aim in the focus, we have to align all our efforts and converge to achieve this goal,” Nadda said.
Nadda said that sensitisation towards fire safety is “key” to prevent any untoward incident in hospitals.