The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – High Risk Fire Hazards & Precautions – Part 97

October 14, 2019 1:03 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 96, LWF began discussing radioactive substances and registration procedures, including local fire authority reporting and mandatory signage. In part 97, we will continue looking at what measures should be taken in a healthcare environment which uses and stores radioactive substances.

Periodic fire safety reviews of radioactive substances should be undertaken and any new or changed practices should be noted, with the results being reported to the local fire authority with the aim of maintaining the effectiveness of the agreed fire emergency procedures and instigating any necessary changes. While most relevant changes relate to the radioactive substances themselves, the changes might include any potential fire risks in the area close to radioactive storage or use.

The Fire Service will attend a fire at premises where radioactive materials are stored or used, armed with suitable radiation monitors and protective clothing to protect them from any anticipated risks. It is not possible for them to guard against any unanticipated risks and so any further provisions that might be necessary should be considered at the time of the review.

The protective equipment used in a fire situation should be checked and monitored afterwards for the presence of any radioactive contamination and dealt with accordingly. Fire Safety Managers should arrange for suitably qualified healthcare professionals to be available for the provision of authoritative advice at times of review and in case of a fire emergency.

Care should be taken in a fire situation when evacuating patients who are receiving treatment or diagnosis involving radioactive substances. Particular care should be taken to avoid injury to any patient and these in particular while they are being moved.

Patients who are undergoing radiotherapy may need to be segregated from other patients and staff during an evacuation process. In particular, care should be taken not to expose any pregnant patients or staff to radiation. The special measures required must be organised beforehand and should form a part of the pre-arranged evacuation strategy.

In part 98 of this series, LWF will begin to look at how X-ray film should be stored depending upon its age and where it was produced. 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.

Share this post