Vikash Sharma

In a bid to prevent hospital fires during summer months, the Union Health Ministry and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have issued a joint advisory to all States/UTs.

All the State Health Departments and State Disaster Management Authorities have been directed to work in close collaboration to ensure that all accredited hospitals within their jurisdiction conduct thorough inspections, address discrepancies in electrical load capacity, and obtain valid fire NOCs from respective state fire departments.

As per the PIB report, the States/UTs have also been urged to conduct follow-up reviews to ensure implementation of critical safety measures.

Key Highlights

Thorough Inspections: Conduct comprehensive fire safety audit / on-site inspections of all hospitals to assess fire safety compliance. Ensure that fire-fighting systems, including fire alarms, fire smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire hydrants, and fire lifts, are present and fully functional.

Electrical Load Audits: Address the critical issue of insufficient electrical load capacity. Hospitals must regularly conduct electrical load audits, particularly when adding new equipment or converting spaces into ICUs. Any identified discrepancies must be promptly rectified.

Fire NOC Compliance: Hospitals must strictly adhere to regulatory requirements and obtain valid fire No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) from their respective state fire departments. Prioritize re-calibration of electrical loads in older buildings constructed before adopting fire safety norms.

Following are the instructions that need to be carried out to prevent occurrences of fire incidents in hospitals and other healthcare facilities: Functional fire-fighting systems, regular maintenance and testing, regular electrical load audits, oxygen safety, avoid overloading power sources and evacuation plans