The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 91

June 13, 2022 11:26 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 90 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF began to identify particular people or groups of people who may be especially at risk from a fire. In part 91, we continue to look at the identification of people at risk of fire for the fire risk assessment.

When considering and identifying those people who may be particularly at risk from a fire on healthcare premises, there may be people who are able to leave the premises unaided, but cannot do so quickly. This may include elderly patients or visitors or people who have limited disabilities.

Parents of children may also be unable or unwilling to leave the premises. Studies have shown that parents who are in a building with their children but who are not directly with them at the time of a fire will often not evacuate but instead go to find their child. While this is a natural response, the fire risk assessment should take into account the urge and address it as much as possible. If the healthcare building has a crèche, for example, the parents of the attending children should be made aware of the collection point for them to meet with their children outside the building in case of a fire.

Another type of person who may be particularly at risk in a fire is one who has language difficulties. It may be that a patient or visitor does not speak English and therefore will not understand any instructions given verbally.

People who are not within the premises but are in the immediate vicinity of the building may also be at risk if a fire was to occur.

The fire risk assessment must consider the potential patients’ medical conditions, sensory awareness and mobility. In complex healthcare premises this will involve providing services for patients with very high dependency, such as those found in critical care areas, special care baby units, operating theatres or mental illness wards. It may be necessary when considering the needs of special care patients for the advice of the relevant clinical staff to be sought.

In Part 92 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will look at the classifications of dependency of patients 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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