The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Healthcare Premises in Purpose Group 5 – Part 7

February 2, 2018 11:11 am

Fire Safety for Healthcare premises is a blog series by LWF, aiming to give guidance on healthcare-based standards and best practice in fire safety. In Part 6 of the series, the challenges of undertaking evacuation of Very High Dependency Patients, while receiving the necessary medical treatment was discussed.  In Part 7, LWF looks at fire safety and evacuation in Purpose Group 5 Healthcare premises – Health Centres, Clinics, Doctors’ Surgeries.


In recent years, it has becoming increasingly common for Purpose Group 5 Healthcare premises to include facilities where minor invasive tests and procedures which use local anaesthetic can be carried out.


A treatment or procedure room is set aside for the purpose and may include an adjacent area where patients can recover from the procedure. The services are DTS (Doctors Treatment Services) and DSS (Diagnostic and/or Screening Services), regulated by the Care Quality Commission.


In such premises, it is important that means of escape from those rooms in particular and any other relevant areas is possible horizontally to a place of relative safety or directly to the outside from ground level. This is due to the potential for patients who have had an anaesthetic or procedure to have limited movement and require assistance to evacuate.


The ‘place of relative safety’ must be a separate compartment or sub-compartment giving 30 minutes fire resistance or a refuge also offering that period of fire resistance. Each of the spaces must be large enough to accommodate the number of patients who may be using the services at any given time and any required staff.


While it is possible that further evacuation horizontally or potentially vertically may be required in a fire situation, it is also possible that the patient will be able to gain more mobility and independence in the additional time.

The premises are also recommended to have a fire detection and alarm system which complies with HTM 05-03 Part B.


In Part 8 of this series, LWF will look at fire safety and evacuation requirements in those premises with facilities for in-patient mental health services and accommodation for people with learning disabilities. In the meantime, if you have any queries about fire safety in healthcare premises or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0208 668 8663.


Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 


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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