Can a fire alarm be silenced by healthcare facility staff if an alarm station was pulled by mistake? or Does the healthcare facility have to wait for the fire department official to arrive and silence?
Normally, you are supposed to wait for the fire department to show up.
They sometimes need to look at the fire alarm panel, prior to any buttons being pushed.
I would ask the fire marshal, if there is one, if not the fire chief.
Plus anyone else that may have authority over evac plans, and silencing fire alarms.
Best practice, do not touch.
Can a fire alarm be silenced by healthcare facility staff if an alarm station was pulled by mistake?
I am going to say yes as there are no provisions in Life Safety Code that says you can not do it. I have reviewed many health care facility policies and procedures for CMS aa well as a state health department and expected the facility's staff to know how to operate and silence the fire alarm panel to calm down the situation with the staff in the patient care areas as well as contacting the fire department dispatch by phone for further instructions and immediately perform the duties of the fire emergency plan. Remember the alarm would keep signalling to the fire department even if the alarms are silenced as well as at any time the sprinkler system or another fire detection device activates, the alarm silencing function of the alarm panel will not work. Your procedures must contact the fire department dispatch by phone to ensure they are coming if there was a activation of the fire alarm system for any reason.
Does the healthcare facility have to wait for the fire department official to arrive and silence?
I would say no as there are no provisions in the Life Safety Code that the fire department arrive and silence the alarms. If there are approved fire emergency policies and procedures in the facility, the Life Safety Code has provisions to automatically notify the fire department dispatch as well as contacting the fire department by phone as a redundancy requirement. The procedures must consider accidental activation by coordinating with the fire departments policies.
But be careful with the AHJ issue, as the typical health care facility has 5 or 6 different AHJs who evaluate for compliance with NFPA codes and standards:
CMSAccreditation organizationState health departmentState agency with authority over health care facility design and constructionState fire marshalLocal fire inspectorLiability insurance company
I am concerned about the need to silence the alarms. Using the current Life safety Code and NFPA 72 provisions, there should never be notification appliances—audible, visual, or combination appliances—throughout a health care facility, and never in patient rooms, treatment areas, or operating/procedure rooms.
Mr. Werner your response was helpful. Thank you.
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