The Ultimate Guide to Installing Fire Alarms in Medical Centres

 

Working in a medical centre likens to being an advocate for human health and the security of life. This entails not just the medical practice itself but also the basic safety preparations that prevent fire in the healthcare facility.

 

Sometimes it gets pretty tough to keep track on the standard building codes like those involving fire alarm regulations. That’s why FCF Fire and Electrical has made a more concise guideline in which all medical centre owners in Rockhampton can refer to―The Ultimate Guide to Installing Fire Alarms in Healthcare Facilities.

Installation requirements

 

installing smoke alarm

Photo Credit: State Farm

 

Hard-wired smoke alarms are usually the standard type installed in health centres. These smoke alarms must be powered by a non-renewable 10-year battery without being charged. It has to qualify for a reliable and accurate system where only appropriate areas that are affected by the fire are alarmed. The last thing we want is to falsely alarm a building’s section accommodating immobile patients only to find out it is a controllable fire located 6 floors away.

 

There are systems with a programmed network that can accurately detect the smoke and notify only the affected areas. You can rely on fire detection systems like this for a controlled evacuation.

Prescribed installation locations

 

Smoke alarm

Photo Credit: Sarah Murphy

 

As a standard practice, smoke alarms are to be installed on the ceiling, except:

 

  1. within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall;
  2. within 300mm of a light fitting;
  3. within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent;
  4. within 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.

 

Special requirements for unique designs of medical centres such as stairways and sloped ceilings need individual assessment. Despite the difference in all medical centres, building owners have a standard basis for where not to install smoke alarms. Avoid installation in the following positions:

 

Dead air spaces

 

These spaces are enclosed areas where hot air is trapped and prevents smoke from reaching the smoke detector. Common spots include the corner junction of walls and ceilings, and between exposed floor joists.

 

Near windows, doors, fans or air-conditioners

 

Excessive air movement can cause nuisance alarms or may blow off smoke and prevent it from reaching the alarms.

Consider the following points for effective fire alarm installation plans:

 

fire alarm

Photo Credit: Kevin Boyd

 

  • A series of meetings between professional fire and electrical contractors and building owners should be held to discuss the building’s safety requirements, appropriate smoke detection and alarms systems, and when and how installations will take place.

 

  • After the agreement, it is followed by scheduling of these installations such that they do not disrupt the workflow in the health centre.

 

  • Ensure a sufficient supply of spare devices to minimise downtime. This ensures that during installation, there are enough alarms working.

 

  • Maximum coverage has to be maintained and should not affect the old supply of smoke alarms (if there are any) so that at all times, there are active alarms in place to function.

 

  • Audibility tests are part of the installation, so there should be a clear notification to all the building occupants that there will be sound tests at a given time to avoid unnecessary panic or evacuation.

 

How far do you know about fire safety installations? It is a safe idea to start updating your fire alarm systems. For more inquiries on medical centre fire alarm requirements, send us a message and we’ll get back to you the soonest.