Amid reports of fire incidents in hospitals due to rising temperatures, the Union Health Ministry on Monday directed all States/UTs to strictly follow fire-safety norms in healthcare facilities. 

“Safety and wellbeing of patients (both outpatients and inpatients), staff and visitors is of utmost importance in any healthcare facilities,” the ministry said. 

“It is imperative that strict protocols and measures be put in place to prevent, detect, and respond to fires effectively,” it added. 

The ministry noted that the recent fire incidents “are a result of short-circuits due to suboptimal electrical maintenance and/or overload of electricity lines due to use of Air-Conditioners and other equipment.”

It called for establishing a robust fire safety plan and regular fire evacuation and safety drills.

“As temperatures escalate during the present summer months and hospital fires become a more significant threat,” the ministry said, advising States/UTs to “conduct regular preventive fire risk assessment drills to identify potentially vulnerable areas.”

The latest review meeting, held on May 29, attended by 15 representatives from State Health Departments and around 390 Health Care Organisations emphasised “the need for strict compliance and rigorous periodic assessment” regarding fire safety norms.

In addition to a checklist on 'Prevention and Maintenance of Fire Safety', States/UTs and institutes were also advised to better coordinate with PWDs and local fire departments for timely fire safety NOC.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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