The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Fire Safety Measures for Healthcare Buildings – Part 63

February 25, 2019 12:34 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 62, LWF looked at the venting of basement levels in healthcare buildings, before introducing LWF’s overview of HTM 05-03, which deals with fire safety measures in healthcare buildings. In part 63 of this series, we will look at the scope and background of HTM 05-03 and the role of management and staff in designing, implementing and disseminating fire safety and prevention policies in healthcare venues and in providing suitable training for staff members.


The role of management in providing policies and programmes relating to the protection of persons in healthcare venues is significant. Sustainable policies must be devised and implemented in order to protect against the life-threatening situations caused by fire in a healthcare venue. Healthcare buildings present a particularly vulnerable environment and one where evacuation is never a simple prospect. For this reason, staff at all levels must receive appropriate, regular and timely training in fire safety and evacuation procedures particular to the building they are working in.


Well-trained staff are a significantly important element in terms of fire prevention and action in the event of a fire. The prompt and informed action of staff members will save lives and minimise damage to property and equipment.


The majority of people, whether in a healthcare environment or not, have little to no life experience of a serious fire situation. While people are cognisant of the danger a fire represents, the impact of such an event and the potential for loss of life is rarely greater than when patients with limited mobility or sight are involved. Healthcare management must therefore accept a significant responsibility rests on their shoulders in relation to fire safety in healthcare premises.


While statistics relating to fires in healthcare premises are not always able to provide reliable data, due to the fact that not all fire incidents are reported, life-threatening fires are a rarity. However, it is important that precautions are in place assuming that a serious fire event could take place and for that reason, adequate staffing in wards, particularly at night, is necessary.


In part 64 of this series, LWF will continue looking at the background and scope of HTM 05-03. 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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