The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Fire Alarms & Detection – Part 113

February 3, 2020 2:46 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 112, LWF discussed the relevant points for consideration for the Fire Strategy from HTM 05-03 Part A. In part 113, we will continue discussing the HTM 05-03 documents with Part B, which relates to fire detection and alarm systems.

HTM 05-03, Part B provides guidance on the design and installation of new fire detection and alarm systems for NHS healthcare premises and the guidance is in addition to and/or different from the requirements of BS 5839-1.

While the system to be installed may be new, the premises may be new or existing, and the guidance also relates to changes to existing fire alarm systems which may be necessary when making material alterations to the building or planning an extension. It should be noted that undertaking any modification to the building structure could affect fire safety provision and that special consideration should be given to providing sufficient fire safety care while the works are in progress. Even if the building is to be closed during the works, there remains a responsibility to protect contractors, visitors and staff who may be on site during the intervening period.

While the requirements given in HTM 05-03 relate to NHS healthcare buildings, the standards given may be useful to other buildings as they aim to adhere to good practice.

The guidance is aimed at certain types of staff or contractors employed to work within the NHS Healthcare premises and may include estates and fire safety staff of an NHS trust (including NHS foundation trusts) or Strategic Health Authority; architects; fire engineers; mechanical and electrical consultants; fire safety consultants; building control officers and local authority fire officers.

Those persons who use HTM 05-05 Part B for the purposes of installing a new fire alarm system or modifying an existing fire alarm system will be assumed to be competent, i.e. they should have sufficient technical training and relevant experience. Their knowledge and experience should enable them to fully understand the potential dangers involved and allow them to carry out the statutory and Firecode provisions which are necessary. The guidance will not provide a step-by-step process for any inexperienced or underqualified personnel to follow.

LWF will begin the next blog in the series, part 114, by looking at occupant profiling – the ways in which the behaviour of people who will use the building should affect the measures provided to protect them from fire. 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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