Inside ASHE - Winter 2012 - (Page 6)

Feature Best Practices in Fire and Life Safety By Deanna Martin, ASHE senior communications specialist Defend emergency preparedness plans and life safety protocols, and coordination with fire and emergency officials. DIP is among the most effective and commonly used approach for providing fire safety in health care facilities. As such, it is a critical concept for hospital staff, building officials, and code developers to understand. ASHE members can share this article with local code officials to help facilitate broad understanding of this key practice. Today, an increasing number of facilities are using DIP techniques, which require some occupants to stay inside the structure during a fire or emergency. Code-writing organizations are adapting to reflect this important shift, which has taken place over several decades. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is expanding its codes to include more detail on DIP, and the International Code Council (ICC) is adding language on DIP to its widely used building codes. The Rationale and Requirements for DIP DIP protections are proven to work. The approach has succeeded over several decades of use, according to the NFPA, with outcomes rivaling traditional, evacuation-based procedures and systems. It’s a tried and tested approach for high-rise hotels, multifamily buildings, correctional facilities, and even coal mines. DIP—which has also been called protect-in-place and stayin-place—is accepted and preferred by many public safety officials and fire protection experts as well as caregivers and clinicians. “Historical precedents indicate that defend-in-place approaches work very well and are a mainstay for protecting patient lives Unde hen a fire alarm goes off, most people instinctively head toward the nearest door. But in clinical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities, many building occupants lack the ability to get up on their own and leave during an emergency. Patients with limited mobility or cognitive challenges, those confined to beds, and patients on vital monitors or life support need special consideration during a fire or other life safety situation. The impracticality of completely evacuating health care facilities has led to decades of advancements in fire safety systems and emergency procedures that allow people to remain safely within the building during an emergency. This approach, called “defend-in-place” (DIP), has a long history of success in preventing injuries and deaths in the United States. Many people are familiar with use of the DIP approach during tornadoes, when building occupants are moved to safe interior areas away from windows and flying debris. DIP in hospitals is more complex, requiring advanced fire suppression systems, compartmentalized construction and fire-resistive building materials, intense staff training, carefully drafted W e this key concept Shar Defend-in-place is a critical concept for hospital staff, building officials, and code developers to understand. ASHE members can share this article with local code officials to help facilitate broad understanding of this key practice. 6 INSIDE ASHE | WINTER 2012 http://www.ashe.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Inside ASHE - Winter 2012

Letter from the President
Understanding Defend-in-Place
Now What?
Preparation
Making Strides
Beyond Fixing Boxes
Implications of the New OR Humidity Range and HEPA Filtration

Inside ASHE - Winter 2012

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