Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
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Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Access & Facilities for the Fire Service - Part 55

Posted by LWF: 03/01/2019 12:30

In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 54 of this series, we finished our discussion on ventilation for car parks as part of healthcare buildings. In part 55, we move on to look at the provision of access and facilities for the Fire Service both in terms of general requirements and those particular to healthcare venues.

Part B of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2010 lays out the requirements for all buildings in terms of access for the Fire Service, as follows:

1) The building shall be designed and constructed so as to provide reasonable facilities to assist firefighters in the protection of life.

2) Reasonable provision shall be made within the site of the building to enable fire appliances to gain access to the buildings.

While life protection is the absolute aim of all fire safety legislation in the UK and Ireland and there is no legal requirement to protect property, in the case of a healthcare building while life safety is paramount, property protection is also extremely important. 

The Fire Service having been called will attend a fire quickly and must be provided with adequate facilities to ensure the protection of both life and property. It is therefore essential that they are able to gain access to the site with no delay, that they are able to move their fire engine(s) around the buildings and that access into the building for fire-fighters is possible. In addition, they will need the provision of fire mains within the building, private fire hydrants and venting for heat and smoke in basement areas.

We will look at each of the areas mentioned to consider the practical measures which should be taken.

Site Access


When considering site access for the Fire Service, the location and number of site access points must be laid out. The design of the internal roadways must be examined with special consideration given to width of the road, radius of corners and bends, any gradients and level of clearance between and under buildings. 
There must be a minimum of two access points to the site which are suitable for use by the Fire Service along with their appliances. These locations should be agreed with all relevant authorities.

New hospital roads to be used by fire appliances must adhere to the details given in Table 10 of HTM 05-02. One access point for the Fire Service may be an emergency access point which is solely for the use of the Fire Service.

In part 56, LWF will continue looking at those measures which should be taken to ensure the Fire Service has access to the building(s) with ‘Access around the building’. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF's publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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