Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
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Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety Policies - Part 67

Posted by LWF: 25/03/2019 14:01

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 66, we were discussing how fire safety policies should be formed and finished by noting that consultation with all types and levels of staff in a healthcare setting is necessary to ensure a considered and cohesive fire safety policy. In part 67, LWF will continue looking at fire safety policy issues.

Where duties are delegated by senior staff to supporting staff members, regular feedback should be obtained as to the continued efficiency or otherwise of the process/arrangements. Any problems or issues should be communicated to the senior staff immediately so that amendments and alterations can be made.
All elements of the fire safety policy should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that changes to structure, function, procedures or other matters can be considered promptly and any risks managed.

The board should be particularly aware of their responsibility towards staff members and should ensure that this umbrella of responsibility extends to agency, bank and other part-time staff employed in patient-care areas of healthcare premises.

For this reason, it should be a procedural norm for fire safety training to be delivered to all staff members on the occasion of their first attendance at a new place of work within the organisation. In practical terms, this means that while overall fire safety training may be given on the actual first day of work, where a member of staff is moved to a new ward or department, additional fire safety training should be given which pertains particularly to that new area.

Areas of particular attention in fire safety training for a new area are:

- The location of fire-alarm call points
- The location (and operation if not already covered) of first-aid fire-fighting appliances, such as extinguishers and hose reels
- The action to take on discovering a fire / hearing the fire alarm
- The boundaries of the fire compartments
- The location of fire doors
- Escape routes

Each new staff member should also receive an explanation of the evacuation strategy for the particular location.

In part 68, LWF will begin to look at staffing levels in terms of fire safety and how important it is that staff who are suitably trained in fire safety are present at all times. 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.

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