The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 122

January 23, 2023 1:00 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 121 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF continued looking at the necessary annual tests and checks that must be undertaken for fire safety purposes in a healthcare building, before beginning to consider how the fire risk assessment should be recorded and used. In part 122, we continue to investigate how the fire risk assessment should be recorded and used.

An enforcing authority may call upon a healthcare organisation to provide proof that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment has been undertaken. The easiest way to satisfy their requirement is to ensure that the fire risk assessment is documented adequately and that it is able to form the basis of future assessments. The enforcing authority is unlikely to require all details recorded, but will want to see significant findings and any actions that have been taken or are outstanding.

The report of the fire risk assessment should include line drawings to illustrate the fire precautions. These drawings can assist in monitoring precautions as a part of any ongoing review.

Emergency Plans

All healthcare organisations should have an emergency plan in place for dealing with any fire situation that might occur. The purpose of the emergency plan is to ensure that staff know what to do if there is a fire and that the premises can be safely evacuated.

The emergency plan should be based on the fire safety strategy, which may be revised following the results of the fire risk assessment. The emergency plan should be available to all staff, any appointed representatives of the staff, patients upon request and the enforcing authority.

In most healthcare premises, or those premises which are providing healthcare services amongst other building occupiers, the emergency plan should be detailed and, where necessary, compiled, only after consultation with other occupiers of the premises. In most buildings this will mean a single emergency plan covering the whole building and however many occupiers of that building. One person must be designated to bring together this task.

It is likely that whichever occupier is subject to the most stringent fire safety rules or most complex requirements will take the lead in compiling the emergency plan to cover their own and other occupiers’ needs.

Further information on emergency plans in healthcare premises can be found in HTM 05-03 and HTM 05-01.

In Part 123 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will discuss the necessity to inform, instruct, cooperate and coordinate fire safety arrangements. 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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