The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Fire Alarm System Design – Part 127

May 11, 2020 11:44 am

In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, our aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 126, LWF looked at the use of fire alarms in very high dependency patient areas, and considered system control and information display. In Part 127, we will continue looking at the fire alarm system and information display and how it can be used in a fire situation.

The siting of control and indicating equipment will be decided dependent upon the evacuation procedures for the healthcare premises and local site circumstances, to allow staff or the Fire Service to control phased evacuation.

The equipment should be comprised of at least a control and indicator panel and should be sited in a staffed location where the fire and rescue service can attend and at the designated entrance where the fire service will be expected to attend. The equipment should be protected from outside interference and unauthorised use.

In a large healthcare building or site, repeater control and/or indicator panels should be provided at points where staff assemble. It might also be possible and desirable to offer information on the fire situation to staff who are not directly involved, to make them aware of the alarm and the potential for future action to be required. Such warnings could be given through the use of repeater panels with text displays at nurse stations, for example.

Where a healthcare site consists of many buildings with more than one fire alarm system in use, all fire alarm signals should be relayed to a common location with 24-hour staffing and from where the Fire Service can be summoned and staff with particular fire safety tasks can be alerted.

As a minimum requirement, control and indicating equipment should be available at the main entrance to the building, or at the entrance which the fire and rescue service will attend, if different. Control and indicating equipment should also be provided in a location which is supervised 24-hours a day, often a telephone switchboard, where such a facility exists.

In Part 128, LWF will continue discussing the correct placement of control and indicating equipment for healthcare premises, before considering ancillary services. 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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