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Evacuation Strategies a Time to Reflect?

Evacuation Strategies a Time to Reflect?

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Evacuation Strategies a Time to Reflect?

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  1. Evacuation Strategies a Time to Reflect? EurIng Dr Jim Marsden Director Ignis Associates Ltd NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  2. Introduction • Present methodology • The duties of a responsible person • Does one size fit all? • The importance of passive and active systems • What are the challenges facing fire safety Managers • Building acceptance • Risk assessment • The actions of other services on evacuation. • Outside influences • Compressed gases • Conclusions NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  3. Present methodology • Approved Document B • 0.23 Health Care Premises diverse variety of patients • Fire strategy dependent upon • The way in which the building is designed (MoE etc) • The way the building is furnished (Fire loading) • The way in which the building is staffed and managed • The principal of total evacuation may not be appropriate. • Designer directed to HTM Firecode Where • An evacuation strategy will be dependent upon the type of building, its use, and the occupancy profile (including staff levels). NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  4. Present methodology Approved Document B Provides advice in respect to residential care. • That occupants may require assistance to escape • Building designed for progressive horizontal evacuation (PHE), but this is dependent upon • The installation of compartment walls • Fire doors NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  5. The duties of the responsible person Article 17 of the FSO 2005 states Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the responsible person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises under this Order or, subject to paragraph (6), under any other enactment, including any enactment repealed or revoked by this Order, are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

  6. Does one size fit all? • Within health care there are wide range persons • Awake and aware (staff) • Unfamiliar with the building (visitors) • Alert and unable to move (patients) • Type of evacuation strategy • Simultaneous • Phased • Progressive • Stay put NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  7. Progressive horizontal evacuation • Persons are evacuated to a relative place of safety i.e. Adjoining compartment. • Reliant upon adequate staff training • Evacuation times can vary greatly dependent upon the condition of the person NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  8. Progressive horizontal evacuation • But what about the importance of passive and active systems. • Progressive Horizontal Evacuation (PHE) is also heavily reliant upon passive and active systems such as:- • Compartment walls and floors being imperforate • Fire dampers within compartment walls operating satisfactorily. • Adequate fire stopping where required. • Water suppression systems controlling fire • Within engineered design the satisfactory operation of smoke control systems NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  9. The importance of active and passive systems NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  10. Passive and active systems • Basic fire engineering principals dictate that the longer you have to remain in the building the greater the importance of passive systems in restricting the spread of fire and smoke from compartment to compartment NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  11. What are the challenges facing fire safety managers • Health care design is becoming more complex requiring different evacuation strategies for different uses. • The greater use of fire engineering systems such as smoke control, pressurisation and new technology such as water mist is becoming more prevelent in healthcare design. • Different purpose groups being combined in one design (Healthcare, shop/commercial, office, residential etc). • Healthcare sites are becoming larger NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  12. Building acceptance New Build • Great reliance on the standard of works and the attention to detail by the contractor in the construction phase. • Compartment floors and walls • Cavity barriers • In the case of active systems such as fire alarms, water suppression systems they are installed and certificated to the relevant standard. • Fire Dampers • Correct fire alarm logic to control other systems such as smoke vents etc NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  13. Build quality NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  14. Building Maintenance Older buildings • Maintaining and understanding the fire safety systems installed (continuity of knowledge). • Fire safety Plans • Fire Strategy (Fire Engineered solutions) • Understanding why the system was installed in the first place • Contractors being competent also understanding the importance of the active and passive systems. • Fire stopping openings in compartment walls • Smoke control systems NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  15. Testing and maintenance • There is requirement under the fire safety order (Article 17) • Should be undertaken by a competent person who fully understands the importance and relevance of fire safety systems) NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  16. Risk assessment • The Fire Safety Order 2005 now applies to Health Care Premises • The risk assessment (RA) should be suitable and sufficient. • Significant findings should be recorded • Action plans should be put in place to remedy the findings. • The risk assessment must be undertaken by a competent person NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  17. Risk assessment considerations • The higher the dependancy of the persons (Intensive Care and HDU) the greater reliance on effective compartmentation and fire stopping. The time to evacuate the compartment is much greater. • The lower the dependacy of the persons (offices etc) the lower the reliance upon the compartmentation and fire stopping. The time to evacuate the compartment is considerably less that above. • Does the competent Risk assessor actually understand health care premises and their complex nature NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  18. The actions of other services • Does our responsibilty end when the FRS arrive on the scene. • Do they understand the importance and special nature of healthcare premises. NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  19. The actions of other services • Will have an impact upon the evacuation strategy • Fire fighting hoses may breach lobbies therefore allowing smoke to enter staircases resulting in spread to other areas. • The flow of contaminated water (not confined to fire fighting debris but possible body fluids) flowing from the affected compartment to other areas. NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  20. The affect of other influences • What about incidents in adjoining buildings? • Surely that cannot affect an evacuation strategy? • Do we risk assess the impact of contractors and building works? • Incidents such as the recent fire underneath the M1 caused considerable disruption to the countries infrstructure. NAHFO Wrightington 2010

  21. Compressed Gases • Current fire fighting tactics include • The establishment of an exclusion zone up to 200mtrs • Cooling with water for 24hrs • Incident only closes when cylinder is removed from site NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  22. Compressed Gases • About 170 people have been evacuated from their homes in Manchester after a fire involving an acetylene cylinder. • Firefighters were called to a premises behind Booze Busters, in Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield, on Saturday morning. • A 200m cordon was set up and Furness Road, Cawdor Road and Landcross Road were closed. Residents have been moved to nearby Owens Park. • No-one was injured in the fire and investigations have begun into how the blaze began. • The cordon is likely to be in place for the next 24 hours while firefighters make the area safe. NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  23. But what about the future? • Our understanding of fire and smoke behaviour is advancing at a pace. • There have been may lessons learned from previous fires. • Royal Marsden 2008, Complete Evac. • University College Hospital 2008, Partial Evac. • Northwick Park Hospital 2009, Partial Evac. • Building standards are improving with design • But do we need to have a radical change? NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  24. What about the future? • Evacuation planning strategy developed at the design stage. • Closer attention to commissioning and testing of active and passive systems. • Building bespoke evacuation systems i.e. Lifts and enhanced compartmentation. • Liasion with emergency services so they understand the impacts of their actions upon an evacuation strategy. • The impact of outside influences • The use of compentent Risk Assessors and competent service engineers NAHFO Newcastle 2011

  25. Thank you Any Questions Ignis Associates Ltd Manchester 07879 667435 NAHFO Newcastle 2011