The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Fire Protection Measures Solutions – Part 126

February 20, 2023 12:24 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 125 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF discussed how and why the fire risk assessment should be reviewed before beginning to look at examples of fire protection measures for healthcare premises. In part 126, we consider the basic principles of fire protection measures and how they are to be applied in practical terms.

In the six example titles given in part 125 of this series, the basic principles of fire protection apply to all, as follows:

  • The furthest point on any floor to the final exit, or storey exit to a protected stairway, is within the overall suggested travel distance.
  • All the evacuation route and areas near the exit are kept clear of combustibles and obstructions.
  • There are adequate protected stairways, also which are kept clear of combustibles and obstructions.
  • The escape route leads to a final exit.
  • In the case of unprotected stairways (which are within an atrium, for example), the final exit from the building is visible and accessible from the discharge of the stairway at ground floor level.
  • High risk rooms are not placed so that they open directly onto a protected stairway.
  • Additional fire protection measures are provided where the fire risk assessment shows there are areas where people on any floor might be unaware of a fire.
  • Compliance with HTM 05-03 Part C ‘Textiles and furnishings’ is necessary for all surface finishes, textiles, furnishings and other potentially combustible materials.
  • Ignition sources are controlled by compliance with HTM 05-03 Part A ‘General Fire Safety’.
  • Effective fire safety management is undertaken, as per HTM 05-01.
  • Where progressive horizontal evacuation is to be used, staff numbers are sufficient for the number and type of patients involved.
  • The fire-resistance of structure, compartmentation and external cladding complies with HTM 5-02.
  • Manual fire-fighting equipment and extinguishers, as well as access and facilities for the Fire Service comply with HTM 05-03 Part A and HTM 05-02.

The necessity of compliance with Health and Technical Memorandum documents does not preclude the requirement of complying with other fire safety and fire protection legislation and regulation, building standards and codes applicable to all buildings in England and Wales. The HTM documents cite and reflect those requirements.

In Part 126 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will begin to look at the first example given – Ground to second floor with very high dependency patients. 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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