The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Design & Construction of Fire-Fighting Shafts – Part 59

January 30, 2019 12:03 pm

In LWF’s 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 58 of this series, we began to look at the requirements relating to the design and construction of fire-fighting shafts in healthcare buildings not provided with a hospital street, the first of which was that fire-fighting stairways, lifts and all associated machinery should be contained within the fire-fighting shaft and the stairways and lifts should be approached from inside the building from a fire-fighting lobby. In part 59, we continue from that point before looking at health buildings which are provided with a hospital street.


HTM 05-02 states that the fire-fighting shaft should be constructed in accordance with clauses 7 and 8 of BS 5588-5, however, the standard has been withdrawn and replaced by BS 9999:2017 – Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Code of practice.


Fire-fighting lift installations must adhere to the requirements contained within BS EN 81-72:2015 – Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts. Particular applications for passenger and goods passenger lifts. Firefighters lifts. and also to BS EN 81-50:2014 – Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts. Examinations and tests. Design rules, calculations, examinations and tests of lift components. (and not to either BS EN 81-1 or BS EN 81-2 as stated in HTM 05-02, as these have been superseded and withdrawn).


Health buildings provided with a hospital street differ from those which are not because a fire-fighting shaft is not required. Instead, a minimum of two stairways should be provided within 15 metres of a final exit and that final exit must be within 18 metres of a suitable fire service access point.


Fire main outlets should be located at department entrances on hospital street so that every part of every storey of the building is no more than 45 metres away from a fire outlet connection. The measurement should be taken along a route suitable for laying hose rather than as the crow flies. As fire hoses could prop open cross corridor fire doors which are intended to prevent the passage of smoke along the corridor, the recommendation is that a fire main outlet should be provided within each section of hospital street with access to a hospital department.


Where fire lifts are provided for use by the Fire Service in buildings with a hospital street and storeys more than 18 metres above fire service access level, or a basement more than 10 metres below ground or fire service access level, these should be sited within hospital street and immediately adjacent to a stairway; accessed directly from hospital street and within 18 metres of an entrance suitable for use by the Fire Service. The Fire Service should be consulted on additional requirements which might be necessary for the lift to be suitable for their purposes.


In part 60 of this series, LWF will look into the requirements relating to Fire Mains. 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 020 8668 8663.


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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