The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – High Risk Fire Hazards & Precautions – Part 94

September 23, 2019 1:27 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 93, we talked about the correct use of fat fryers in a healthcare main kitchen and what precautions should be taken during operation. In part 94, we will continue from that point before considering another high-risk fire hazard area – Laundries.

In order for continued use, the fat fryer must have correctly functioning controls and override thermostats. Operating temperatures must be checked as well as the diaphragms of relay valves which are known to stiffen as they age and can lead them to fail to shut off the gas supply when required.

Routine cleaning must be undertaken with particular attention being paid to the removal of fatty deposits from the hob and surrounding metalwork, the hood and sides and back of the fryer, internal surfaces of ductwork, fan blades and any filters.

The hoods in use above fat fryers should be constructed of sheet metal to allow for easy cleaning of the smooth surfaces. All equipment, working surfaces and structural parts must be maintained at a high level of cleanliness to avoid the potential for fires. Care must be taken in the choice and use of cleaning materials, which should not be allowed in contact with food products.

Healthcare Venue Laundries

The classification of healthcare venue laundries as high fire risk is due in part to the likelihood of fires in laundries occurring when staff are not present to raise the alarm. It is usual that an active fire protection system such as automatic sprinkler suppression is installed and maintained in laundry areas. This is partly because of the high capital value of the equipment contained within. Where the equipment is old and nearing the end of its economic life, it may be that the decision is taken not to install automatic fire protection systems. It is important, however, that a fire risk assessment is undertaken to assess the need for protection.

The type of fire detection equipment which is chosen should reflect the environment and particular hazards associated with laundry fires. Many laundry fires occur due to smouldering linen and therefore early smoke detection is required. An alarm raised at this stage means that the Fire Service can attend and prevent serious damage caused by a major fire.

In part 95 of this series, LWF will continue talking healthcare venue laundry areas and how to offset fire risk. 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 LWF on freephone 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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