Clinical Fire Safety

The Vanderbilt Medical Center Facilities Management and the Office of Clinical and Research Safety (OCRS) departments are responsible for development, implementation and review of the Medical Center Fire Safety Program. Both departments serve as the primary contacts for the Metropolitan Fire Marshal's Office and is available to assist with any issues concerning the State Fire Marshal's office. If you have any questions about fire safety issues in your area, contact Hospital/Clinic Safety Staff for assistance. 

OCRS safety officers work with Facilities Management regarding specific Life and Fire Safety concerns. These issues include: 

  • Review of exiting/egress paths.
  • Review of operational or structural changes such as remodeling, construction or changes of the building's occupancy with regard to life safety systems. When necessary, Interim Life Safety measures will be implemented to ensure patient, visitor and staff safety.
  • Review of departmental Fire safety and evacuation plans and advise on needed refinements or revisions.

Fire Drills

Fire Drills in the Medical Center and clinics are scheduled and performed by OCRS personnel, Hospital/Clinic Safety Program. Fire drills are required by the Joint Commission and by state licensing agencies.

  • In-patient facilities are required to have a minimum of one drill per shift every quarter. These buildings include VUH, MCJCHV VPH, MCN CRC, MCN Round Wing and MCE North Tower.
  • Ambulatory surgery centers are required to perform one fire drill per shift (worked shifts) for every quarter. These facilities include Vanderbilt Orthopedic Surgery Center (FEL), Franklin Bone and Joint Surgery Center and The Vanderbilt Clinic (TVC).
  • Clinic and office buildings where there are no in-patients and fewer than 4 patients under anesthesia are only required to have one fire drill per year. These buildings include most off-site clinics, MAB, Crystal Terrace, Vanderbilt Eye Institute and Oxford House.

If you are asked to participate in a Fire Drill, you are to respond as you would to a real fire situation.


OCRS provides fire safety training to Medical Center personnel.

  • Initial fire safety training is provided in online orientation.
  • Refresher training for fire/life safety is provided online or during some other annual mandatory safety training initiative, such as departmental training.
  • OCRS will provide training for your department upon request.

This training is available as an online video.Medical Center faculty, staff and students can login with VUNet ID to view "Fire Safety at VUMC."  This fire safety training video runs for 18 minutes.

The VUMC Fire Safety Program is documented in the VUMC Safety and Emergency Operations Manual. The program includes information about Employee Responsibilities, Types of Fires, Use of a Fire Extinguisher, Fire alarms, Detection and Reporting a Fire and Evacuation Procedures.

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See also: Power Strip Safety in Patient Care Areas.  

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     Contact Hospital & Clinic Safety Staff.