The LWF Blog

Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – Statutory Requirements – Part 77

March 14, 2022 1:08 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 76 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked at the available guidance on fire risk assessments in complex healthcare premises, as per HTM 05-03. In part 77, we begin to look at the statutory requirements for fire risk assessment in healthcare buildings.

The main statutory requirements for fire risk assessment in existing healthcare buildings are to be found in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) which replaced all previous relevant fire safety legislation. Any fire certification issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 became invalid at that point.

Any fire risk assessments which were made following the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 using HTM 86 then became necessary for review under the terms of the FSO.

Where any premises, including healthcare ones, employ five or more people, or are licensed or where there is an alterations notice requiring the organisation to do so is in force, the findings of a risk assessment and actions taken must be recorded.

The risk assessment should include a plan of the premises and the plan should indicate the general fire precautions.

Dedicated records of the risk assessment including significant findings, actions taken, the emergency plan, training and maintenance schedule of fire protection equipment should be kept.

The purpose of keeping such records is to be able to prove to the enforcing authority that a sufficient and suitable fire risk assessment was carried out, when called upon to do so. It also provides a basis for future reviews. It is only necessary to record significant details and necessary actions, although the remaining detail may be kept for future reference if it is thought to be useful.

The FSO states that fire precautions should be put in place ‘where necessary’ and to an extent which is reasonable and suitable given the circumstances involved.

The ‘Responsible Person’ referred to in the FSO has responsibility for carrying out the requirements of the Order. In a workplace, this is the employer or most senior executive, unless a suitably qualified and experienced senior member of staff has been allocated the role. In all other premises, the responsibility rests with the person or people in control of the premises.

In premises of multiple occupation, such as a multi-occupied complex, the responsible persons must be able to work together to ensure a cohesive and suitable approach.

In Part 78 of LWF’s blog series, LWF look at how the FSO is enforced. 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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