The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 101

August 22, 2022 11:11 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 100 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF considered the flexibility of fire protection measures in healthcare buildings, before beginning to look at fire detection and alarm systems. In part 101, we will discuss fire-fighting equipment and facilities.

Fire-fighting equipment held on healthcare premises is commonly referred to as first-aid firefighting equipment. Fire extinguishers are designed to be used to protect life and facilitate safe escape from the premises.

Staff should be trained in their use, where the extinguishers are located and basic operating procedures for all first-aid firefighting equipment. People who have no training – for example, visitors and members of the public, should not be expected to take action in a fire situation other than safely evacuating the premises.

If there is a fire strategy in place for the premises which requires that certain members of staff act as Fire Marshalls who are expected to take action if a fire starts, then they must be provided with more comprehensive training than other staff in order to safely carry out their duties.

There may also be fixed installations and facilities, such as dry rising mains, access for Fire Service vehicles and automatically operated fixed fire suppression systems (sprinklers, gas or foam flooding systems for example). Where such systems are installed in a healthcare building for the use of firefighters in a fire situation, they must be maintained as indicated by the manufacturer/governing standards and checked on a regular basis.

Manual fire-fighting equipment, such as extinguishers, fire blankets and hose reels should be provided as necessary and inspected and maintained as required by the relevant parts of BS 5306.

The provision of extinguishers should be based on one 13A-rated extinguisher for every 200 m2, or part thereof, with at least two fire extinguishers provided per floor. Extinguishers for specific purposes should be provided as and where necessary.

Fire blankets should be provided in all cooking and pantry areas to subdue cooking fires if they start. Where there is specific first-aid firefighting equipment available to address a fire risk, it should be provided.

In Part 102 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will look at whether or not sprinkler installations are required 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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