The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Preparing for a Fire Emergency – Part 110

January 13, 2020 3:12 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 109, LWF discussed evacuation from a healthcare building. In part 110, LWF will look at the considerations that managers of specific areas must undertake when developing an emergency evacuation plan

It is important that managers of parts of the healthcare premises have knowledge of any physical constraints of that area, along with the capabilities of the staff and the characteristics of patients in their charge. This knowledge will be essential to the formulation of appropriate evacuation plans. When devising a plan, the following points should be considered and the plan itself should be reviewed and modified in case of changed circumstances.

– The number of patients and staff who will need to be evacuated from a fire compartment or premises in a fire emergency and the time available for the evacuation.
– Consideration of the dependency of the patients and estimation of the degree of surveillance and assistance the patients will require.
– An estimation of the number of staff available during both day and night shifts to cope with a fire emergency in each ward or part of the healthcare premises.
– When considering the number of staff available, consideration should be given to their capabilities regarding evacuation, such as individual physical fitness, fire safety training/medical training and their likely performance under stress. Such considerations are especially important when considering part-time, agency or night staff. The reason for this point is that moving vulnerable people in a fire emergency is always strenuous and taxing work.
– Consideration should be given to the patient-handling methods to be used in an evacuation, bearing in mind any constraints on the escape route and the type of patient that may need to be moved. The resulting information should be shared with the healthcare fire safety adviser in order to agree the most appropriate system and method.
– It may be that certain equipment could aid evacuation and such tools should be identified and the location noted.

In part 111 of this series, LWF will continue discussing points for consideration when formulating an evacuation plan for an area of the healthcare premises by managers of that area. 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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