The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises –FSO and Enforcement– Part 87

May 23, 2022 12:33 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 86 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked at the use and definition of assessment areas. In part 87, we look at how to begin a fire risk assessment in a patient access area.

The guidance given in HTM 05-03 Part K is based on that contained within the HM Government’s Fire Safety Risk Assessment guide, referred to in Part K as the ‘green guide’, which supports the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Patient-access areas are those areas of healthcare premises to which patients or visitors have access to either with or without supervision, as in-patients or out-patients. This will include operating theatres, public-access toilets, wards, waiting rooms, treatment areas, escape routes etc.

Any shops, cafes or other commercial (or charity-based) enterprises within hospital premises, and which may be frequented by patients, are considered in HTM 05-03 Part D and in the relevant guide to the Fire Safety Order.

Effective fire safety management means ensuring that fires are unlikely to occur and that if they do, despite the measures implemented, they must be detected promptly and extinguished or contained. It also means that evacuations from the premises in case of fire should be planned and efficiently executed, whether that is progressive horizontal evacuation to a place of safety, as implemented in some hospital premises, or outside to a place of safety as is the case in many smaller healthcare buildings.

The Chief Executives of trusts must develop an adequate fire strategy to ensure that their management policies about fire safety comply with the relevant guidance given in HTM 05-01. They should also ensure that sufficient and adequately trained staff are in place at all times to provide a safe evacuation of patients in accordance with the emergency evacuation plan.

An up to date set of drawings should be obtained and maintained showing the assessment areas and indicating the placement of fire alarm and fire detection systems, routes of means of escape, compartmentation, first aid firefighting equipment such as extinguishers and fire blankets and all access and facilities for the Fire Service.

In Part 88 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will continue to look at how the chief executives should manage fire safety in healthcare buildings. 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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