The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Fire Safety Training for Staff – Part 86

October 24, 2019 6:13 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 85, LWF considered the responsibility for effective training through competent trainers before looking at recording and assessing training programmes. In part 86, we will discuss fire drills first, before moving on to look at certain high fire hazard areas within healthcare premises.

Every healthcare organisation is expected to have an emergency plan for dealing with fire and also to train staff in the various aspects of fire safety in the workplace. The effectiveness of each element should be tested with practical fire drills and in the interests of ensuring preparation for any reasonable risk, the drills should take place both at day and at night, where at all feasible.

Local management are responsible for organising the fire drills, as well as deciding upon an appropriate frequency. It is recommended that they are undertaken at least once a year. As the idea of the fire drill is to simulate a real fire situation, at least one of the escape routes available should be deemed to have been obstructed by fire or smoke.

Competent staff should be nominated to monitor the progress of the fire drills while they are in progress and records of the drills and their outcomes should be kept on file.

At the beginning of a fire drill, a member of staff should be told of the fictional outbreak of fire and they should operate the fire alarm, allowing the fire drill routine to be rehearsed as fully as possible in the circumstances.

The fire drills shouldn’t endanger those taking part.

Areas in healthcare premises with increased fire hazard risk

Healthcare buildings are naturally complex in that they contain areas which carry an increased risk of fire hazards. For this reason, special attention is required when considering how fire precautions should be planned in those areas. Most healthcare premises contain one or some of the following:

Main Kitchens
Areas containing radioactive substances
Areas containing X-Ray film storage
Physiotherapy Departments
Magnetic Resonance diagnostic equipment
Medical Gases
Temporary Building Operations

In part 87, LWF will begin to consider each of these locations and the high fire risks they contain, along with the precautions which should be taken to mitigate the risks as much as possible. 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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