The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 120

January 9, 2023 12:37 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 119 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF discussed external envelope protection and how this might impact a healthcare building in close proximity to adjacent buildings. In part 120, we begin to look at smoke control in healthcare buildings.

In normal circumstances, the majority of healthcare buildings do not require mechanical smoke control systems to be installed. However, there are circumstances where they might be necessary, for instance where there is an atrium requiring a smoke control or extraction system, or a pressurised stairway in accordance with BS EN 12101-6 Smoke and heat control systems – Specification for pressure differential systems. Kits. or a Nucleus or other hospital with smoke extraction from the hospital street.

A smoke control system in a healthcare building will normally be a part of a fire-engineered design and may be used to mitigate risks associated with overall travel distance or extended single travel distance.

The maintenance of a fire safety system involves checks that must be taken on a regular basis. There are variations to the time periods given below, specific considerations should be given to individual premises.

Daily checks

  • Bolts, padlocks and any security devices should be removed from fire exits
  • Doors on escape routes should swing without obstruction and close fully
  • Exits and escape routes must be clear of obstruction and combustible materials and should be in a good state of repair
  • Emergency lighting units should be visually checked, they should be in good repair and working
  • All fire safety signs and notices should be legible

Weekly tests and checks

  • Emergency lighting systems should be checked to make sure they have sufficient charge and illumination according to manufacturer’s or installer’s instructions.
  • Fire doors should be checked to see they are in good working order, that they fit the frames correctly and all self-closing devices are functional

Six-monthly tests and checks

  • The fire detection and alarm system should be tested and maintained by a competent person

Annual tests and checks

  • Emergency lighting and all fire-fighting equipment, fire alarms and other installed systems should be tested and maintained by a competent person
  • All structural fire protection elements of compartmentation must be inspected and any necessary remedial work carried out by a competent person

In Part 121 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will continue to look at the annual tests and checks that must be undertaken for fire safety purposes 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 since 1986 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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