The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 100

August 15, 2022 12:35 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 99 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF talked about the removal of sources of fuel which might contribute to a fire and begin looking at sources of oxygen. In part 100, we consider the flexibility of fire protection measures in healthcare buildings, before beginning to look at fire detection and alarm systems.

The fire protection measures applied to a healthcare building should be provided with an element of flexibility. The guidance in HTM 05-03 Part K should be applied to ensure the level of fire protection provided is proportional to the risks posed to the safety of building occupants.

The fire risk assessment will highlight fire risks and once procedures have been reviewed to reduce levels of risk and sources of fuel and oxygen have been removed or made safe, what remains is to reduce the remaining risk to a level as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). The greater the risk of fire and risk to life, the more onerous the standards of fire protection will need to be in order to mitigate the remaining level of risk to patients, staff and other people in the building.

All complex healthcare buildings will need a system for detecting fire and alerting building occupants. Staff and automatic fire detection and warning systems can provide alerts to the presence of fire in an area.

New hospitals are required to have an L1 detection and alarm system, treatment centres should be protected to a L2 standard. Older hospitals may not have L1 or L2 systems in place, but the inclusion of an automatic fire detection system to the lower standard at least should be incorporated into any refurbishment or upgrading plans, within a time period agreed with the fire authority.

HTM 05-03 Part B contains details of the types of fire detection and fire alarm systems suitable for use in healthcare buildings, as well as general principles and technology guidance on the design, specification, installation, testing, operation and maintenance of fire alarm systems. The standard works in conjunction with BS 5839-1, which should also be referenced.

HTM 05-03 Part H should also be reviewed, in reference to the prevention of false alarms.

In Part 101 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will discuss fire-fighting equipment and facilities. 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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