The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Dangerous Substances Storage & Disposal – Part 77

May 28, 2019 2:45 pm

In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 76, LWF discussed waste management from a fire prevention point of view and it was noted that the safe storage of waste was a primary concern. In part 77, we will look at the safe storage and disposal of dangerous substances and care in explosive atmospheres, before looking at fire precautions in underground locations.


HSG51 The storage of flammable liquids in containers is a Health and Safety Executive produced publication which contains guidance on the safe storage of flammable liquids in containers in the workplace. It explains the fire and explosion hazards associated with flammable liquids and helps determine how to control the risks in the workplace. The principles contained within should be followed in healthcare venues. Additionally, flammable and highly-flammable liquids kept in departments should be as small an amount as is reasonably practicable for the day-to-day operations of the department.


Methods of safe disposal of unwanted small quantities of flammable or highly-flammable liquids should be carried out only by competent persons acting under the direction of the healthcare fire safety adviser. One of the potential methods of disposal may include burning highly-flammable liquids on shallow metal trays, but this must only be undertaken at safe locations in the open air, and should be remote from any building, flammable storage area or drain. Such activities may present an additional opportunity to combine the activity with some staff training in dealing with first-aid firefighting equipment.


Highly-flammable liquids, solutions and reagents used in pathology departments or laboratories must never be disposed of down a sink, drain or gulley as this practice can cause explosions, damage and potential injuries.


Fire Precautions in Underground Locations


Part of the need for special precautions to avoid fires in underground locations comes from the potential for fire to go unnoticed. Such areas offer reduced ventilation and so present a particular hazard from the resulting build-up of smoke, toxic gases and heat. With these additional hazards in mind, special precautions will be necessary for buildings which have underground areas.


In part 78, LWF will discuss those fire precautions which are necessary in underground or windowless premises within healthcare venues. 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 Peter Gyere on 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.



Share this post