The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 109

October 17, 2022 11:46 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 108 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF considered the ways that an assessment area may be situated higher than the third storey where necessary, as well as discussing staff-assisted evacuation. In part 109, we will look at escape bed lifts and emergency escape lighting.

Escape Bed Lifts

The escape plan for a healthcare building may include the use of escape lifts. Where escape bed lifts are provided, very high dependency patients can be evacuated more easily and the risk from fire to those patients is reduced.

Where escape lifts are installed, there should be a minimum of two separate lifts and they should comply with the guidance of HTM 05-03 Part E – Escape Bed Lifts. An especially important element of the building design where escape lifts are to be installed is that the lobby at ground floor or exit/access level should give access or protected access to the outside. In other words, the protected lift lobby at ground floor should include a door that opens to the outside for evacuation outside the building or may open onto a separate protected corridor or area that leads to the outside exit.

Emergency Escape Lighting

It is essential that the escape route from any part of the building is suitably lit to allow building occupants to be able to find their way safely when evacuating the premises. This standard applies where any escape routes are internal and/or where there are windows to the escape route, but the premises are used during hours of darkness (which, in winter in the UK, can be in the afternoon).

The necessity to light the escape route in a fire situation means it is imperative that emergency escape lighting is provided to the escape routes. It may also be necessary to provide a “way guidance” system to assist those who may have difficulty seeing conventional signage.

Escape lighting is required to illuminate the escape route and to guard against the failure of the electrical supply. HTM 01-01 ‘Electrical Services – Supply and Distribution’ gives guidance on the emergency lighting requirements for healthcare buildings. It also gives details of the electrical supply required to ensure normal lighting is on a maintained essential supply circuit for healthcare and fire safety purposes.

In Part 110 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will begin to look at signs and notices and fire signs and notices. 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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