The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 110

October 24, 2022 11:44 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 109 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked at escape bed lifts and emergency escape lighting. In part 110, we begin to discuss signs and notices and fire signs and notices.

In some healthcare environments, significant effort is put into avoiding an institutional environment through methods such as not putting excessive notices on walls. However, fire safety priorities mean that some signage and notices are necessary, whatever the intended environment. Fire signs for the purpose of helping people to find and use escape routes and fire-fighting equipment are important and must be displayed, whatever the intended ambiance.

Additionally, the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 requires that appropriate signage be used to comply with the regulations.

The only conditions under which signage is not required is where the location of escape routes and fire-fighting equipment is readily apparent and visible at all times.

Notices, however, are required to provide instructions on the use of fire safety equipment, the actions to be taken in the event of a fire and information for the Fire Service on locations of important elements such as sprinkler valves or electrical cut-off switches.

Any fire signs and notices to be used should be positioned so that they can be easily seen by building occupants and understood.

A fire sign should be positioned in an appropriate and conspicuous position so they are recognisable, readable and informative. Their aim is to convey essential information to both regular and infrequent visitors to the premises, and the Fire Service. The positioning in terms of height, lighting and visibility should be carefully considered before the fire sign is placed.

Fire action notices should be permanently displayed in obvious positions throughout an assessment area and the content of the notice should be specific to the area in which it resides. Additional fire action notices containing information and instructions should be displayed on staff noticeboards, in staff rooms and in residential accommodation.

The purpose of fire action notices is to provide concise instructions on how to respond when a fire is discovered and the alarm sounded. The emergency evacuation plan relevant to that area should also be detailed.

In Part 111 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will begin to look at the potential fire hazard of surface finishes 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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