EC News recently published information on fire drill “tips for success.” You might also refer to these tips as hidden requirements! Here’s what you need to know.
Fire Drill Tips For Success
Tip 1 deals with EC.02.03.03, EP 1. In note 2, it permits drills conducted between 9PM and 6AM to use “alternative methods” to notify staff instead of audible alarms.
In fact, the “tip” or hidden requirement is that only the sound may be turned off. All other devices must remain activated. That includes strobes, central station signals and magnetic locking releases. In addition, the “tip” points out that you cannot conduct the drill at 1AM and then activate those devices after 6AM and try to associate that back to your 1AM drill.
Fire Drill Tip 2
Tip 2 deals with EP 3 on scheduling fire drills. The EP states that you must conduct fire drills at unexpected times and under varying conditions. The “tip” explains an issue we often see scored. The hidden requirement is to hold these drills at least one hour apart. Thus, a 1AM drill followed by a 1:30AM or 1:45AM would not be acceptable.
Fire Drill Tip 3
Tip 3 discusses fire drill critiques as required by EP 5. Actually, it is somewhat of a “gotcha” preventative measure. Some organizations identify in their ILSM policy that they will conduct one extra fire drill for all construction projects. The “tip” points out that some surveyors will ask to see evidence of an extra drill for a construction project that might only be a few days old. Above all, make sure your policy is clear. Schedule an extra drill within the calendar quarter. Bit, it does need to occur immediately at the start of the project.
Fire Drill Tip 4
Tip 4 discusses the fire response plan. It should explain to staff what they need to do with any rolling equipment or carts located in the hallway. In fact, the policy should detail who removes it and where they move it to.
Share this article with your facilities team along with feedback about current compliance with these “tips.” There is also a matrix attached that you can downloaded and use to assist in scheduling your drills.
Patton Healthcare Consulting
Whether you need assistance interpreting fire drill tips or other Joint Commission standards, we can help. Patton Healthcare Consulting provides Joint Commission Compliance Assistance and a full range of pre-survey and post survey services including support developing healthcare’s reporting culture.