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Safety matters: Maintaining a fire-safe environment 

Safety and quality practices that become habits in our daily routine and the patient care we provide are crucial to our success with regulatory preparedness and surveys. 

To meet the goal of ongoing, continuous regulatory readiness, Yale New Haven’s Accreditation and Regulatory Affairs (ARA) has identified regulatory-focused opportunities for improvement. One of the most critical involves fire safety and maintaining a fire-safe environment. All employees are reminded to:

  • Keep hallways, exits and stairways free of clutter and clear of obstruction. If an object is in a corridor, practice a questioning attitude and ask if it can be moved.
  • Never block smoke barrier doors, the front of fire extinguisher cabinets, medical gas, vacuum valves, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, electrical panels or automatic fire doors.
  • Do not use door wedges to keep doors open, nor tape over door latches as they allow a fire to spread.
  • Keep fire doors closed during a fire to compartmentalize the building and prevent the spread of smoke and flames. Fire doors are designed to protect the means of egress (exit) and allow building occupants time to evacuate safely. If fire doors are blocked or wedged open, they will not function properly and will compromise the area.

Other important fire safety reminders:

When you see fire or smell smoke, remember to RACE: 

  • Rescue anyone in immediate danger
  • Alarm: activate the alarm pull station AND call your designated emergency number
  • Confine the fire; close all doors
  • Extinguish/Evacuate 

How to use a portable fire extinguisher: PASS

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the handle
  • Sweep from side to side

How to access your department’s Fire Safe Plan

Select “F” from the Departments and Communities” dropdown menu on the intranet home page and click “Fire Plans.” Follow the prompts to access plans for your specific location.