The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – High Risk Fire Hazards & Precautions – Part 87

August 5, 2019 1:19 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 86, LWF looked at certain high fire hazard areas within healthcare premises. In part 87, we will begin addressing each of the areas, starting with main kitchens which produce meals for staff and patients.

Main kitchens require that certain provisions are made in terms of fire safety. While mechanical ventilation may be required to a hospital main kitchen, the process could cause fire to spread more quickly if safeguards are not put into place. The design of the mechanical ventilation should contain any damage from smoke and toxicity if a fire occurs in the area. As it is essential that mechanical ventilation is provided to the main kitchens, it is therefore imperative that the mechanical ventilation system is completely separate and independent of the systems serving other areas of the building.

Mechanical ventilation is necessary in a hospital main kitchen as all the equipment produces heat, vapours and combustion products. Ventilation duct runs for supply and extract should both be as short as possible, and particular attention should be paid to those which provide extracts for equipment using oils or fats. This is to prevent a build-up of precipitation from vapours on internal surfaces.
Equipment such as deep-fat fryers must have dedicated extraction ducting via an overhead canopy. It is important that the ducting has grease-tight access panels for cleaning at intervals not exceeding 3 metres and at any change in direction.

Any vertical risers in the ducting must have a grease trap installed at the base. These panels will also serve as suitable points of access for firefighting activities.

The most effective arrangement of extraction system for deep-fat fryers results from a ducting system designed to deal with heat and vapour extraction separately from the products of combustion. The two systems must be physically separate from each other, or thermally insulated, to prevent the passage of high heat between systems which could lead to a fire.

In part 88, LWF will continue looking at the ventilation and extraction systems of main kitchens in healthcare venues. 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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