The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises – Examples of Fire-Engineered Healthcare – Part 66

December 20, 2021 12:46 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 65 of Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises, LWF continued to look at a specific example of where fire engineering solutions have been used for healthcare premises, as per HTM 05-03, a care facility extension to an existing district general hospital. In part 66, we continue to look at that design and recommend reading the previous instalments to gain a full picture.

A healthcare project QDR team works to form a list of criteria for which any proposed fire safety strategy must show equivalency. All the relevant stakeholders should be present and contribute to the criteria (as detailed in part 65, this comprises the project manager, senior nursing manager, hospital fire safety adviser, project architect, fire safety engineer, building control officer and fire and rescue service safety officer).

The team who worked on the process for the care facility extension to an existing hospital put forward the following objectives:

Life safety objectives

  • The prevention of fire
  • Occupancy able to stay in place or be moved to a place of relative safety inside the building. If necessary following those actions, they should leave the building for a place of relative safety outside.
  • Fire fighters should be able to work reasonably safely.
  • Structural collapse should not endanger people – including firefighters who will be there post-evacuation.

Loss prevention objectives

  • That there should be minimal disruption to the provision of healthcare
  • That there should be minimal financial loss and therefore drain on the provision of healthcare by the Trust.

In this example, the QDR team acknowledged the importance of the loss prevention objectives while acknowledging the life safety objectives were of primary concern in terms of design and necessity. It was decided that the life safety objectives should be addressed first and the loss prevention objectives after, once the life safety objectives were met.

The team developed two design fire scenarios with the aim of testing the proposed fire strategies. The first strategy detailed a fire in an unoccupied bed in a four-bedded bay on the first floor at night.  The fire was to have been caused by smoking materials igniting waste and spreading to the bed. The occupancy was to be asleep with the exception of two staff members.

The second strategy involved a fire in a storeroom on the first floor, daytime and was caused by arson. The fire was to be set by the ignition of textiles. The building occupants were assumed to be distributed about the wards with a number of visitors on the wards and in day rooms.

In Part 67 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will continue to look at the fire scenarios and how they were used for the trial designs.  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.

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