The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Preparing for a Fire Emergency – Part 108

December 30, 2019 1:44 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 107, LWF looked at how preparations should be made for a fire emergency in a healthcare building, including beginning to talk about Escape Routes. In part 108, LWF will continue discussing Escape Routes and how to prepare for a fire emergency in a healthcare building.

Any secured doors on an escape route should be noted, along with information on how exit from the building can be achieved quickly at all times.

Other than in a specific circumstance, all emergency final access doors should open outwards. Any sliding or revolving doors are not permitted if they are intended to be emergency exits. It is important that emergency doors are not so locked or fastened that they cannot easily and immediately be opened by any person who may need to use the door in an emergency situation. This means that an emergency door with a key kept elsewhere would also not be permitted, as the key would have to be fetched in order for the door to be unlocked.

Managers and the healthcare fire safety advisers should ascertain what features of an area could potentially obstruct escape routes or hinder evacuation progress. For example, the intention to use evacuation methods such as ski-sheets or pads would be hindered by the positioning of carpets or rugs on the escape route.

It is also necessary for the managers and the healthcare fire safety adviser to ensure they are familiar with the designated escape routes and for staff to be informed of any changes affecting their suitability, even if those changes are temporary or due to short-term contractor works.

The layout of component parts of the healthcare premises, including fire compartments, fire doors, escape routes and fire alarm call points should be noted on a simple plan, together with marked information about escape routes from each compartment and any safe holding areas for progressive evacuation. This plan will assist staff in gaining an understanding of the building and the processes to achieve safe evacuation in a fire situation.

In part 109 of this series, LWF will begin to discuss evacuation within and from healthcare premises, along with the primary aims in undertaking evacuation. 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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