An average of 2,300 nursing homes report a structural fire each year. Fire safety is vital to protect your assisted living facility business, employees, and the residents of your nursing home. In 2004, after multiple fire-related deaths in nursing homes, the Government Accountability Office issued a study that recommended sprinkler systems be installed into all nursing homes. But it wasn’t until 2013 that a bill passed saying that a prerequisite for participating in the Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement program is to have an automatic sprinkler system installed.
By following government guidelines and installing an automatic sprinkler system in your nursing care facility or retirement community, you can help save lives, save money, and give your residents and their families peace of mind
Use these tips to understand the benefits of having a sprinkler system installed in your skilled nursing facility, retirement community, or other long term care facility.
Sprinkler systems reduce fatalities.
Sprinkler systems save lives. According to the Congressional Office of Compliance, fire sprinkler systems reduce the risk of a person dying in a fire by 82%. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there has “never been a multiple death fire in a long term care facility that had an automatic sprinkler system installed throughout the facility.”
Sprinkler systems are reliant when staff is off-duty.
It’s important that a nursing home facility has an emergency plan in place. This is very important during the overnight shift, when less staff are available to assist during in an emergency. More fires tend to start at night than any other time of day. By having an automatic sprinkler system, you are ensuring that should a fire start, there will be less damage and fewer injuries than in a facility without a sprinkler system in place.
Sprinkler systems limit the spreading of fire damage.
Automatic sprinkler systems go off to put out a fire and contain it to one area. It takes 155 degrees to activate a sprinkler head. And most of the time, only one sprinkler head goes off during a nursing home fire. 90% of fires are controlled by fewer than six sprinkler heads, and 82% of fires are controlled with two or fewer.
Controlling the fire and limiting it to one area will lessen the fire damage to your facility. This will prevent you from having to close down your entire building for reconstruction and repairs. You may have to quarantine the area where the fire occurred, to help prevent soot and smoke damage exposure. This will save you a lot of hassle and stress of temporarily displacing your residents, as well as save you the money from loss of business income and cost of repairs.
Sprinkler systems save you money.
On top of putting out fires, fire protection systems can also save you money on your insurance. You can also save on taxes for having the extra physical protection on your property. Don’t believe the fire safety myths that smoke alarms are good enough or that the damage the water from the sprinkler system will cost more in damage than a fire. Install a sprinkler system and make sure your automatic sprinkler system is regularly maintained. This will create an overall safer living space for your residents. The benefits of saving lives far outweighs any upfront costs.
Did Your Sprinkler System Cause Water Damage to Your Nursing Home?
Contact Alpha-Omega Disaster Restoration. We provide emergency water extraction services to prevent further damage. If the sprinkler system went off because of a fire, we also provide fire damage services. Our certified and trained technicians are available 24/7 to help. We’ll assess the situation, mitigate the damage from the fire, smoke, soot, and water used to put the fire out. At Alpha Omega, our technicians will work directly with your insurance company. We want to restore your business as quickly and safely as possible.