The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 104

September 12, 2022 11:36 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 103 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF considered escape routes and strategies in healthcare premises, including safe evacuation from premises without the aid of the Fire and Rescue Service. In part 104, we continue looking at escape routes and strategies by discussing means of escape and security measures.

When considering the design of an escape route in a healthcare building, exit doors and final exit doors on escape routes should normally open in the direction of travel. They should also be quick and easy to open without the need for a key or particular knowledge, such as a keycode.

It is acceptable to have sliding doors on escape routes, provided that they also perform as an outward opening door if reasonable pressure is exerted on them from either side of the door.

Where powered sliding doors are installed, they should default failsafe to the fully-open position in the event of a power failure.

BS 7273-4 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures – Actuation of release mechanisms for doors gives information on the actuation of release mechanisms.

Single Direction Escape

In order to protect building occupants in a fire situation, the maximum distance to be travelled before there is a choice of escape routes or to a protected escape route is 15 metres.

An increased single direction escape travel distance can be mitigated by a high degree of observation, trained staff members in fire safety and ensuring its use is limited to independent patients. It is also mitigated by a reduced overall travel distance.

Single direction escape may include escape from an inner room (a room only accessible through another room), but certain considerations must be taken into account. The total distance travelled before there is a choice of escape route should be carefully considered. The access room (room used to access the inner room) must not be a fire hazard room, and the access room must be fitted with automatic fire detection.

In Part 105 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will discuss the overall travel distance of an escape route in a healthcare building. 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.

Share this post