The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Fire Safety Training for Staff – Part 84

October 24, 2019 6:13 pm

In LWFs 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 83, LWF began look at those roles in a healthcare environment which might have special responsibilities in case of a fire and while it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list which applies to all, those staff who will be expected to assist in patient evacuation were discussed. In part 84, we will continue from that point before discussing trainers.

Telephone switchboard operators should also undergo additional training to ensure they are able to carry out their particular duties in case of a fire at the premises. It is important that their actions are clearly laid out and understood – communicating with the Fire Service in accordance with the guidance given in HTM 05-03.

Estates staff will be expected to receive special fire safety training too, to ensure that they have precise and detailed instruction on the safe control and isolation of services such as gas, water, electricity, ventilation, piped medical gases etc. Such substances may need to be controlled during a fire situation and this kind of training must also be extended to any staff working in hospital kitchens for the same reasons.

Management should consider providing a dedicated fire safety training unit in order to train staff in fire safety procedures. Such an undertaking could prove economical for a large healthcare site and would be under the remit of the healthcare fire safety adviser. The unit could supplement the standard fire safety training and evacuation procedures by undertaking additional training that would be impractical in the working environment.

As indicated in Firecode, the Chief Executives should nominate or appoint staff with specific roles in fire safety. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005 requires that the responsible person appoints one or more competent persons to assist in the undertaking of preventative and protective measures. The responsible person in any organisation is the most senior executive, unless the position is appointed and filled by an appropriately experienced person. As the responsible person is the individual who would be literally held responsible in the case of failures of care if a fire occurs, it is essential that the role is filled appropriately and supported by senior management.

In part 85, LWF will continue looking at the responsibilities under Firecode relating to the training of staff in healthcare environments. 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 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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