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Health Care Sector

Some examples of our Healthcare sector expertise

Project New Secure Unit – Staffordshire

Key Issue

The operator was concerned about self-closing devices to bedroom doors due to ligature and management issues.  There was a potential means of escape/security compromise also.  On first consultation the Fire Officer dismissed the proposals and stated there would be issues under the RRO.  The client prepared a pre-construction Fire Risk assessment and developed this closely with the fire officer and Steve Thomas.  This demonstrated a level of management and supervision which satisfied both the Building Regulations and RRO

Project New Residential Care Premises – Buckinghamshire

Key issues

The Building Regulations and associated legislation were applied to the building as a whole, e.g. Passive Stack Ventilation, Drainage, including surface water attenuation scheme

Fire safety measures included swing free self-closing devices, operated by the fire alarm and Residential sprinkler system in accordance with BS9251:2005

Means of escape / security balance had to be considered. This was accomplished by exits secured by electrically operated locks that failed on actuation of the fire alarm or staff override

Project 100 bed Extra Care Facilities – North Somerset

Key Issue:

The resident’s flats were self-contained and required sound reduction measures in accordance with Part E of the Building Regulations.  This was achieved using the principles in Approved document E with resilient bars to the underside of the floors with a composite acoustic floor deck.  The separating walls were double partitions with staggered studs.  Wall sockets and services were also staggered.  The partitions were continued in to the roof void using preformed spandrel panels.  The rooms were subject to sound testing and passed.

Project New Residential Care Premises -Hampshire

Key Issue:

During the plan assessment stage the design team produced British Standard test data to demonstrate suitability of combination of smoke seals and lift doors.  Further to a critical analysis of the test data the results were questioned as the two products had not been tested as a unit and therefore the results were inadmissible.  This has resulted in the companies commencing testing of the two products in unison


Project New Residential Care Premises –North Yorkshire

Key issue:

The building was to be occupied with Elderly, mentally infirm.  Considering the nature of residents in such premises Fire Safety is a major consideration of our Building Control function. However it is acknowledged that a balance needs to be struck between safety measures and the need for a less institutionalized ‘homely’ environment.  The guidance implemented recognizes the difficulties associated with the dependence of the residence and evacuating elderly frail and perhaps unstable persons to the outside. Therefore the principal of progressive, horizontal evacuation was implemented. The principal for means of escape allows for reaching a place of relative safety within a fire protected sub- compartment

Self-closing devices were omitted from bedroom doors as these created difficulties for frail residents who could not open doors or were at risk of being knocked down by a door closing on them.  However this was subject to risk assessment and the application of as HTM 84 and ‘Fire Safety in Residential Care Premises,’ produced by the Institute of Building Control [pre ADB Vol 2 2007].  One of the factors addressed was ensuring sufficient staff/resident ratio for an effective response to a situation.

An L1 fire detection and alarm system was fitted in accordance with BS5839: Part 1.

Project New Residential Care Premises – Powys

Key Issue:

The development was a small care home for residents with mental health issues.  The building was timber frame with face brick outer leaf.

The building had a single stair in a central location.  This resulted in extended single direction travel distances from the bedrooms which constituted a departure from the guidance.  However, this basic layout had been constructed in other parts of the country.

To compensate for this a misting system was introduced into the building.  Also taking into account the small numbers of residents and high numbers of staff, risk assessment demonstrated that evacuation within a reasonable timeframe could be achieved.


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