The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Managing Fire Safety – Part 95

July 12, 2022 9:50 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 94 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked at how risk to people should be evaluated. In part 95, we continue to discuss how risk to people should be evaluated in the fire risk assessment.

All fire resisting doors in a healthcare building should normally be fitted with an appropriately controlled self-closing device (with an automatic hold-open device if necessary) or a free swing controlled door-closing device that will close the door from any angle once operational due to fire alarm activation. There are only a few exceptions, doors to locked cupboards and service ducts and the bedroom doors of mental health patients.

In mental health accommodation, it may be necessary to have additional nursing arrangements, for instance where constant observation is required due to the potential for high-risk behaviour such as self-harm. Where those arrangements are necessary, control measures such as higher levels of staffing and relevant training should be implemented.

It is possible to have other fire door solutions where the situation calls for them, but these should be appropriate and justified within the fire risk assessment.

In situations where self-closing devices are not fitted to fire doors, this should be taken into account in the fire safety management procedures of the ward in question.

Where the occupancy of the building or part thereof is very high dependency patients, the provision of additional fire precautions is advised. Consideration should be given to factors such as visual observation, lower travel distance, increased refuge availability, lower height above ground, increased staffing, escape bed lift provision and automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinklers

This concludes how risk to people should be evaluated for the fire risk assessment. Having done so, it is necessary to remove or reduce the hazards which were identified in step 1 of the fire risk assessment.

In Part 96 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will discuss how to remove and reduce the hazards found in step 1 of the fire risk assessment. 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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