The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Fire Alarm System Design – Part 129

May 26, 2020 12:36 pm

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 128, LWF looked the placement of control and indicating equipment for healthcare premises and began to discuss ancillary services. In part 129, we will continue our consideration of ancillary services.

The actuation, or not, of ancillary services in a fire situation must be considered and decided upon prior to any fire emergency. The use of ancillary services must be decided upon with the fire safety strategy and statutory requirements in mind and through consultation. It is important that the case for each service is considered and the cause and effect logic is documented with the aid of a diagram. This should be a part of the specification for the system.

The cause and effect logic must be followed through for each element.

Automatic Door Releases and Door Control Systems

In order for fire doors to be held open on automatic door releases, all of the following criteria must be satisfied:

a) The door-release mechanism should conform to both BS 5839-3 and BS EN 1155 – standards pertaining to the hardware of hold-open devices and fire doors – and should be fail-safe, so that in the event of a fault or power loss, the mechanism releases automatically.
b) All fire doors fitted with automatic door releases must be linked to the alarm and detection system to support the fire strategy.
c) All automatic fire door releases within a compartment or sub-compartment should be triggered by all of the following situations:
i. The actuation of any automatic fire detector within the compartment or sub compartment
ii. The actuation of any manual fire alarm call point within the compartment or sub compartment
d) Automatic door releases must be provided with a ready means of manual operation from a position at the door, which allows for manual intervention if the system does not work, or if the situation warrants it at the time.

As a standard basis, all automatic fire door releases should be configured to close doors automatically when they are within or forming the boundary of fire alarm zones, when the evacuate and alert signals are sounded in those areas.

It is not permissible for fire doors leading to staircases to be held open by means of door hold-open devices.

In Part 130, LWF will look at the cause and effect logic for Access Control Systems. 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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