The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 93

June 27, 2022 12:15 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 92 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF discussed the classifications of dependency of patients in healthcare buildings. In part 93, we look at how the Chief Executive should approach evaluating, removing, reducing risk and protecting people from risk.

The third step of effective fire risk assessment for Chief Executives of healthcare premises is the evaluation, removal and reduction of risk, and protecting building occupants from fire risks.

It is important to protect the occupants of a healthcare building from fire and its associated risks, but it’s also important to ensure a suitable environment for healing and a non-institutional atmosphere. For this reason, while safety of patients is paramount, it is also necessary to consider the potential adverse effects of fire precautions on the quality of service users’ lives.

Fire risk evaluation

The more effectively healthcare premises are managed, the less likely it is that a fire will start. A part of this is to ensure that there are limited sources of ignition and that these are kept away from any combustible materials. Most fires start in one of three ways:

By accident – perhaps someone disposes of smoking materials inappropriately, or knocks over a lighting display.

Defective equipment, act or omission – Electrical equipment which is improperly used or maintained may be a cause of fire. The lack of proper disposal of waste, such as packaging, can lead to a fire starting.

Arson – The deliberate setting of fires by someone on the premises is undesirable but fairly common. For this reason waste bins should be placed away from the building, as they are an easy target for fire setters.

When undertaking a fire risk assessment, it is important to attempt to view the premises in a critical manner in order to try to identify any hazards which may pose a risk or lead to a risk of fire. A hazard may be a procedure, a lack of action, a maintenance requirement, a storage issue or any number of other acts and items found on the premises.

The previous fire history of the premises is very important and any near misses can inform and guide the future procedures.

Any opportunities available to arsonists should be addressed.

In Part 94 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will look at how risk to people should be evaluated. 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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