The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises – Scope of Part J – Part 2

September 28, 2020 12:53 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 1 of Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises, LWF began to look at HTM 05-03 Part J, which is concerned with the application of fire engineering principles in healthcare premises. In part 2 of this series, we consider the scope of Part J in terms of how the application of fire engineering principles can be used as an alternative to prescriptive fire safety guidance to achieve safety standards.

HTM 05-03 Part J concerns itself with how fire engineering may be used in all parts and types of healthcare buildings, including ancillary services departments planned as part of a healthcare building. It should be noted that in a more straightforward healthcare building, it may be simpler to rely on prescriptive guidance.

The guidance is intended to build upon the standards laid out in HTM 05-02 and Approved Document B of the Building Regulations, where appropriate.

The NHS provides such a wide range of services and therefore the guidance in Part J does not specifically relate to all possible configurations or types of building. It is necessary for the design team, NHS clients, building control and fire authorities to exercise judgement on the best way to proceed taking into account the following:

– The type of care which is or will be provided
– The anticipated mobility of the patients
– Planned staffing levels
– The age of the patients
– The size of the premises

Where a fire engineered approach is to be used, it must be demonstrated that it achieves the functional requirements and fire safety objectives in Part J. Part J has no statutory force, it is guidance which aims to address the problems particular to the healthcare sector and assist in applying the current statute.

The primary purpose of a healthcare building is to provide medical treatment or nursing care. Fire engineered solutions can work in the favour of a complex environment as it can work with and around issues in a flexible way. The aim is to achieve a balance between fire safety and the requirements for treatment and nursing care. The safety of patients, staff and visitors is of paramount importance in all aspects.

In LWF’s next blog – Part 3 of this series we will continue looking at fire engineering from the perspective of fire safety in healthcare environments. 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.


Share this post