The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Preparing for a Fire Emergency – Part 107

December 23, 2019 2:30 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 106, LWF looked at the potential high risk of fire where medical gases are present and considered the precautions that should be taken when using oxygen in a healthcare venue, to reduce the risk of fire accidents. In part 107, we begin to look at how preparations should be made for a fire emergency in a healthcare building.

As it is not possible to know if or when a fire emergency will happen, preparations must be made for fire emergencies so that managers and their staff know what to do. The basic fire emergency responses should be covered in training and practised in advance, such as:

How to raise the fire alarm and call the Fire Service
How to get additional help in a fire emergency
How to evacuate that part of the premises
Awareness of where the firefighting equipment is in each part of the healthcare building and at each location, information on how to use should be prominently displayed.
How to use the firefighting equipment in the ‘local’ workplace, including any special precautions or requirements
How to deal with hazardous equipment during a fire emergency (e.g. gas cylinders or oxygen chambers)
Knowledge of who will switch off mains supply sources such as gas, electricity and who is to activate emergency systems in a fire emergency (records must be kept up to date).
Knowledge that during a fire situation in any part of the premises, telephone lines should be kept free for essential calls only.

Escape Routes

It is important that management carry out the following tasks in relation to escape routes, in conjunction with the healthcare fire safety adviser:

The layout of the component parts of each healthcare premises should be considered, with particular note being made of fire compartments, fire doors, escape routes, positions of fire alarm call points.

The escape routes from each compartment within the building(s) should be agreed with the local fire authority and marked on the plan.

Safe-holding areas should be identified by the local fire authority and building management to be used during progressive evacuations in a fire situation.

In part 108 of this series, LWF will continue looking at Escape Routes and how to prepare for a fire emergency in a healthcare venue. 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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