The LWF Blog
Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises – Examples of Fire-Engineered Healthcare – Part 64December 6, 2021 12:48 pm
LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals aims to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 63 of Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises, LWF considered Fire Drawings and their use in assessing fire precautions. In part 64, we will begin to look at specific examples of where fire engineering solutions have been used for healthcare premises, as per HTM 05-03.
Examples of fire engineering solutions applied successfully in healthcare environments can be informative, but should not be considered precedents as there are considerable variables which may apply and would alter the requirements. The use of the term ‘prescriptive guidance’ in relation to healthcare fire engineered plans refers to Firecode.
Older patients with mental health problems can present significant challenges when attempting to create a fire-safe environment. The main theme of standard guidance is to utilise a high degree of compartmentation, a fire safety design intended to limit the spread of fire from one area to the next and one which allows progressive horizontal evacuation to be used. The use of compartmentation requires all built elements to be fire-resistant, including doors, glazing, walls, ceilings and for any apertures between compartments to be subject to fire dampers and fire-stopping measures.
These fire protection measures are known as passive fire resistance as they are always in place and do not require ‘activating’ in a fire situation.
While they are very effective at stopping the spread of fire until the Fire Service can attend and put it out, they can also have a significant impact upon the cost, flexibility and use of the building.
A two-storey 48-bedroom extension was proposed to provide care for older patients in a district general hospital. Sleeping accommodation would be provided on both storeys, with the roof being used to site plant and other equipment.
Access to the extension was on the ground floor and an adjacent circulation stairway. In addition, egress was provided from the ground floor to the outside and via a first-floor bridge to the main hospital building.
The building itself was to be steel frame construction with brick cladding. The floors were composite concrete slabs and the internal partitions made from gypsum board on steel stud frames. Glazing would be present on all four walls. The building has a hipped roof made using a steel portal frame.
In Part 65 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will continue to look at the fire engineered plan for the care facility extension. 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 LWF on freephone 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.