The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 123

January 30, 2023 12:43 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 122 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF investigated how the fire risk assessment should be recorded and used, as well as considering the emergency plan. In part 123, we discuss the necessity to inform, instruct, co-operate and co-ordinate fire safety arrangements.

A fire risk assessment, properly undertaken, will highlight areas of concern and fire risk that may be mitigated by fire protection measures. Fire protection is essential to help protect building occupants and equipment from the effects of a fire. However, fire prevention is also vital and it is important that clear and relevant information, along with appropriate instructions, are provided to staff and the employers of other people working on the premises. Contractors, for instance, should be made aware of how to prevent fires and what actions they should take if there is a fire. In some premises, it may also be necessary to give any relevant information to patients and regular visitors.

When contractors are to work on healthcare premises, it is important that they undertake their own risk assessment relating to the work they are to complete and that they are made aware of the fire safety arrangements and findings of the healthcare organisation’s risk assessments. Both risk assessments should be amended accordingly before work is commenced. Any particular hazards should be noted and risks must be mitigated.

It is important that all staff, including agency and bank staff, are given information and instruction relevant to the overall fire safety strategy and their own specific area of work. This should be completed as soon as they start work and reviewed regularly after that time.

Staff who work outside normal operational hours must also be considered. Contract cleaners or maintenance staff must also be aware of all fire safety procedures and receive suitable fire safety training.

The information and instruction given to staff should be based on the contents of the emergency plan and should include the following elements:

  • Fire safety strategy
  • Significant findings from the fire risk assessment
  • Measures put into place to reduce the risks
  • Actions staff should take if there is a fire
  • Details of who has been nominated with fire safety responsibilities
  • Special arrangements for serious and imminent danger to persons from fire

In Part 124 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will continue to discuss how fire safety and prevention information should be shared with relevant persons in healthcare premises. 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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