The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – Travel Distances & Hospital Streets – Part 20

May 2, 2018 1:52 pm

In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, we look to give information on best practice in fire safety for hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 19 of this series, the principle of keeping the distance to be travelled by any person from the potential point of fire origin to a place of safety was discussed. It is important that these distances are considered and limited in order to maximise the chances of a prompt and safe evacuation. In part 20, we look at what total maximum travel distances are laid out and must be adhered to before discussing Hospital Streets.


The total travel distance from any point within a compartment to either each of two adjoining compartments or an adjoining compartment and a stairway or final exit must be no more than 60 metres.


Where the point of origin is within a sub-compartment, the total travel distance must be no more than 30 metres to an adjoining compartment/sub-compartment or to a stairway or final exit.


Hospital Streets


The requirements in respect of hospital streets are to enable it to function on a day-to-day basis and also as a major route in a fire situation. It must meet certain requirements in order to fulfil these needs.


A hospital street must be comprised of the same fire-resistant construction as a compartment and should have a minimum clear width of 3 metres at all points.


The street must be divided into a minimum of three sub-compartments, each measuring no longer than 30 metres. This requirement maximises the amount of time it is resistant to fire as each compartment is fire resistant for only a certain amount of time. The passage of building occupants from one sub-compartment to the next means that the clock is ‘reset’ in terms of safety from an existing fire for those individuals.


At ground floor level, the hospital street should have a minimum of two final exits which are located at each extremity of the street and it should be ensured that the maximum travel distance between final exits is no more than 180 metres, as measured along hospital street. The maximum travel distance from any compartment exit onto hospital street to a final exit should be no more than 90 metres.


In part 21 of this series, LWF will continue looking at hospital streets before moving on to discuss the width of escape routes. 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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