The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Open-sided Car Parks – Part 52

December 13, 2018 11:51 am

In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 51 of this series, we were looking at the potential for fire spread from one area of a building to another through external surfaces, before moving on to begin to look at the necessary arrangements for car parks. In part 52, we continue on that theme by considering open-sided car parks.


Open-sided car parks offer much greater ventilation than enclosed car parks and so have differing requirements for fire safety purposes. Classification of a car park as open-sided for fire risk assessment purposes, if it is subject to the following provisions:


 There can be no basement storeys


 Each storey must be naturally ventilated by permanent openings at each car park level, with an aggregated venting area of not less than 1/20th of the floor area of that level. At least half (1/40th) should be equally provided between two opposing walls. (Where one element of structure supports, carries or gives stability to another, the fire-resistance of the supporting element should be no less than the minimum period of fire-resistance for the other element, whether or not that is also load-bearing).


 If the building containing the car park is also used for any other purpose, the car park element must be a separated part and the fire-resistance of any element of the structure it supports, carries or gives stability to should be no less than the minimum period of fire-resistance for the elements it supports.


 All materials used to construct the building, compartment or separated part must be non-combustible, with certain exceptions –


o Any surface finish applied to the floor or roof of a car park, or within any  adjoining building, compartment or separated part of the structure  enclosing the car park, if the finish meets all relevant aspects of the  guidance given in htm 05-02.

o Any fire door

o Any attendant’s kiosk not exceeding 15 metres squared in area

o Any shop mobility facility


In part 52 of this series, LWF will continue to look at fire prevention and fire safety relating to car parks for healthcare buildings, starting with car parks which are not open-sided. 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 020 8668 8663.


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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