The LWF Blog
Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises – Fire Strategy – Part 59November 1, 2021 2:02 pm
In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, our aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 58 of Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked at the use of sensitivity analysis and worst-case scenarios. In part 59, we begin to discuss the Fire Strategy.
The Fire Strategy provides a structure to allow the responsible person (as per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) to maintain, and operate the building in a safe manner. It is also intended to help the building owner, occupier and/or employer to fulfil their statutory duties under the Order.
The Fire Strategy contains information on the integrated fire safety design of a building, which will involve the combination of separate measures which, together, complement each other’s function. One example of this is automatic fire detection and compartmentation which work together to alert building occupants to a fire and to protect them for a sufficient amount of time to evacuate the building (or area, if progressive horizontal evacuation is in place).
It is possible that parts of the Fire Strategy may involve non-standard fire protection systems or products and, in these instances, there should be evidence that the product or system is suitable for purpose. This could take the form of correspondence with the manufacturer, for instance.
While these blogs and the HTM 05-03 Part J will refer to buildings in terms of simple and complex, this is for the purposes of providing an overview and each building should be assessed on a case by case basis.
For many buildings, information on the location of current fire protection measures may be all that is required. The Fire Strategy should contain an as-built plan of the building, detailing:
- Escape routes
- Compartmentation and separation (locations and fire-separating elements including cavity barriers and any walk-in spaces)
- Fire doors, self-closing fire doors and any other door equipped with relevant hardware, e.g. panic locks
- Fire and/or smoke detector head locations, alarm call-points, detection/alarm control boxes, alarm sounders, fire safety signs, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, wet or dry risers, firefighting equipment and the location of hydrants outside the building
- Sprinkler systems, including the location of isolating valves and any control equipment
- Smoke control systems or any ventilation system which has a smoke-control function, including mode of operation and control systems
- High risk areas – e.g. heating machinery, storage of gases
- Fire safety equipment specifications including any routine maintenance schedules
- Fire safety arrangements design assumptions regarding building management
In Part 60 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will look at complex buildings in terms of the fire strategy. 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.