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Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises – Examples of Fire-Engineered Healthcare – Part 67

January 4, 2022 1:27 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 66 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 67, we continue to look at that design and recommend reading the previous instalments to gain a full picture.

The QDR Team reviewed the strategies and deemed that the first fire scenario was the most challenging (at night, fire on a ward caused by smoking materials igniting waste with all patients asleep and two night-time members of staff in the annexe). It was decided that this would be analysed against the assessment criteria.

The acceptance criteria against which any strategy must be assessed should be clearly defined by the QDR team. The criteria are often quantified in terms of measurement.

The trial designs for this project included the following elements:

  • That the design should comply with compartmentation requirements given in HTM 81 – ‘Fire precautions in new hospitals’. This decision was made in order to provide the facility for progressive horizontal evacuation of the patients. The compartments would therefore need to be of a high specification and include 60-minute fire resisting floors, staircases, lift enclosures and one wall running right across the building on each floor. Additionally, 30-minute fire resistance would be necessary for walls around each sleeping accommodation and each fire hazard room on each floor (numbering around 40 in total).
  • Alternatively, a sprinkler system compliant with BS 5306-2 could be installed throughout the unit to allow the level of compartmentation and sub-compartmentation to be lowered. It was noted that this could improve functionality of the unit and meet cost-saving and life-safety objectives.

Where a QDR team uses Firecode as the benchmark of fire safety in healthcare, there is a reference point with which to compare results from strategies developed through the QDR process. By producing a strategy that is at least equivalent to the prescriptive guidance, fire engineered strategies are able to provide a level of protection beyond that of the prescriptive guidance.

In Part 68 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will summarise the results of the project involving the annexe to an existing hospital for a care facility for older people.  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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