The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 125

February 13, 2023 12:59 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 124 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked at how fire safety and prevention information should be shared with relevant persons in healthcare premises. In part 125, we discuss how and why the fire risk assessment should be reviewed before beginning to look at examples of fire protection measures for healthcare premises.

The fire risk assessment for a healthcare building should not be considered over once it has been completed for the first time. It should be treated as a dynamic document that will be maintained and under constant review. The healthcare building it pertains to will adapt and change, as will staffing and maintenance requirements and the fire risk assessment should address whatever changes are necessary as they occur. There are various over-arching reasons why the why risk assessment may need reviewing:

  • Work processes, equipment or organisation of work processes is changed
  • Alterations to the premises
  • Any change of use or occupation of the premises
  • Substantial changes to fixings and furnishings that may affect fire safety
  • Fire precautions or fire protection system failure

While some small changes may not necessitate changes to the fire risk assessment, any change that introduces new hazards must be assessed and if they are considered significant as per the fire risk assessment criteria, steps should be taken to eliminate the risk or reduce to ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) risk level.

Examples of fire protection measures for healthcare premises

HTM 05-03 Part K gives examples of buildings and generally acceptable layouts showing fire protection measures which will be sufficient to safeguard people using the premises. While they are not prescriptive in any way and will not directly apply to all applications in healthcare buildings, they are a useful overview of the principles of means of escape and how they may be applied in real terms.

The six examples are as follows:

A             Ground to second floor with very high dependency patients

B             Ground to second floor with patients more likely to start fires

C             Ground to second floor with poor observation of patients’ beds

D            Floors on or above third floor level accommodating patient-care areas

E             Dependent patients with highly infectious diseases

F             Delayed evacuation of very high dependency patients

In Part 126 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will look at the basic principles of fire protection measures and how they are to be applied in practical terms. 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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