COVID-19: Home Ministry asks states, UTs to conduct fire safety review of hospitals and nursing homes

The Home Ministry on Wednesday asked states and union territories to carry out a detailed fire safety review of hospitals and nursing homes to prevent fire incidents.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to state chief secretaries and UT administrators, asking them to ensure fire safety measures, particularly in view of the summer season.

Given the recent fire incidents in hospitals and particularly in view of the impending summer, it needs to be highlighted that short-circuiting takes place, leading to fire incidents and loss of life and infrastructure, either because of high temperature, lack of maintenance, or high load on internal wirings within the facilities, the Home secretary said.

According to the communication, care should be taken to put in place a plan of action to ensure there is no fire incident in any health facility, particularly COVID-19 dedicated facilities, both in the government and the private sector.

The Home Ministry has asked states and union territories to conduct a detailed review with officials from the Health, Power and Fire Departments, and prepare a detailed plan of action to ensure that fire safety measures are in place in all hospitals and health facilities.

The states and union territories have also been requested to issue directions to the concerned officials at various levels, those health facilities should be visited by field-level officials, to examine internal wirings and availability of functional safety equipment as per fire safety guidelines, within these facilities, and necessary remedial action be taken immediately in case any deficiencies are found.

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Free Press Journal