Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
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Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Prevention - Part 75

Posted by LWF: 13/05/2019 15:22

In LWF’s 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 74, LWF discussed good housekeeping measures which should be implemented in a healthcare venue to avoid instances of fire. In part 75, we will continue from that point. 

Rubbish can accumulate in certain spaces which are out of the way and ignored, such as lift wells, behind radiators, in basements, at the end of dead-end corridors, under staircases, etc. As rubbish is fuel for a fire, it is important that checks are undertaken regularly to ensure that all waste and unauthorised storage is kept properly, and any areas of unauthorised rubbish disposal or storage are cleared immediately.

In some instances, good housekeeping is just as it sounds and the regular cleaning of workspaces, machinery and equipment spaces must be undertaken to avoid the accumulation of fluff and grease deposits in laundries, main kitchens and other areas. 

Unfused multiple point-adaptors should not be used under any circumstances and in any instances where one is found, it should be removed immediately. Staff should be particularly warned about this as it is common for an individual to ‘solve’ a short-term issue with an adaptor which is not fit for purpose or has been brought in from home. 

Equally, staff must be dissuaded from any efforts to adjust or repair electrical equipment themselves, no matter how small they feel the task might be. No equipment, whether official, unofficial or personal may be used on the premises until it has been checked and approved by the appropriate technical staff. The connection of 13-amp plugs, for instance, should only be undertaken by technical staff. 

While staff might take the use of electrical equipment for work purposes seriously, they may also plug in their own small appliances in staff areas, for instance, phones, ipods, electronic reading devices without a second thought. All small private devices must be given the same consideration and care as official electrical appliances and guidelines on how and where to charge their appliances, or if they are allowed at all, should be given and checks made. 
Regular portable appliance testing (PAT) must be scheduled and carried out.

Additionally, regular checks must be made of all electrical cables and cords for signs of wear and any which look in less than optimal condition should be withdrawn from service immediately and reported to the officer responsible for electrical maintenance. 

Arson prevention is also a serious consideration and one that will be discussed more fully in future blogs. 

In part 76 of this series, LWF will talk about effective waste management. 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 0800 410 1130.

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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