The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Access & Facilities for the Fire Service – Part 141

June 5, 2023 10:54 am

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 140 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF talked about basement escape and protection from fire. In part 141, we discuss what access and facilities should be provided for the Fire Service, when attending a fire at a healthcare building.

When the Fire Service are summoned to the site of a fire, it is important that appropriate access and certain facilities are provided for them. The access and facilities provided must be available at all times; it would not be sufficient to clear a space for the Fire Service appliances at the time of a fire.

The site access provided must be sufficient for multiple fire-fighting appliances should significant numbers need to attend and the access points should be agreed in advance with the local fire authority when they visit the healthcare building to survey it.

Site access should generally be within 45 metres of 25% of the building perimeter, to allow hoses and other equipment to be within suitable reach of the fire or to be carried to the site of the fire.

Access points to the inside of the building for firefighting personnel should be provided at suitable locations and agreed with the local fire authority, and one staircase as a minimum must be provided. This must be accessible at ground level from a suitable access point for the Fire Service appliances.

Any hospital built post-1978 should comply with the provisions of the relevant version of Health Technical Memorandum 05-02. The most relevant version will depend on which was applicable at the time of the Building Regulations application. The risk assessment process should take into account the requirements of section 3.3 of the “FSO Green Guide” when considering fire-fighting facilities.

Any hospital road which would be used by the Fire Service to gain access must be kept clear of obstructions at all times. Where parking is allowed in these areas, sufficient safe clearance distance must be provided and enforced to ensure that fire-fighting appliances can gain access at all times.

Any site plans or mimic displays must indicate Fire Service access.

This concludes our blogs on fire risk assessment for healthcare premises. Check out our fire engineering blogs for more information. 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 since 1986 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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