Fire Protection in Hospitals
Although there are numerous ways to minimise hospital fire hazards, below are 3 standard fire proofing strategies to ensure that fires are managed efficiently.
Hospital fire compartmentation
In order to prevent fire from spreading vertically and laterally into various spaces, fire compartmentation in a hospital is important. Hospitals are divided into fire areas, each of which, through fire-resistant walls and flooring, acts as a self-contained unit.
There should be no gaps between the doors, walls or ceilings in the hospital to guarantee the integrity of fire compartmentation within the hospital buildings. If there are holes between the door and its frame, it isn't ideal to have a fire-resistant door. Toxic gases and smoke can certainly flow through ordinary doors, so regulations say that they need to be sealed.
In order to delay, and potentially completely eliminate, the spread of fire, smoke and toxic gases from one part of a hospital building to another, a number of fire stopping techniques are used, involving the installation of suitably tested fire-resistant barriers, boarding, curtains and systems to structures around the shared wall and compartmentation doors.
Not only are fire doors strategically designed for escape, but they also have to be fire-resistant. For NHS fire doors, the minimum security time is 30 minutes, but in some locations where evacuation is estimated to be slower, this can be longer.
The regulation allows for the manufacture of fire doors with a variety of materials (wood, aluminium, steel, gypsum) and also with windows, as long as they comply precisely with their respective degree of time security.
For evacuation purposes, they should also be clearly identified as fire doors and fitted with a self-closing mechanism to ensure the safety of the compartment of the house. In addition, cold smoke seals are needed to seal the area between the door and the frame.
The effect of a fire can be minimised by a high pressure sprinkler device, and without providing a lot of water. They are currently reported to decrease accidents by up to 80 percent and minimise damage to property by up to 90 percent.