HTM 05-02 and the series of which it is part provide specific guidance on fire safety in the design of new healthcare premises and major new extensions to existing healthcare premises. While not intended to cover every possible scenario, the standards and principles it advocates recognise that fire safety in healthcare premises is dependent on the interaction between physical fire precautions, the dependency of the patient, the fire hazards and the availability of sufficient and appropriately trained staff to safely evacuate patients in a fire emergency.
The aim of HTM 05-02 is to ensure that everyone concerned with the management, design, procurement and use of the healthcare facility understands the requirements of fire safety in order to ensure optimum safety for all who are present in the building. Only by having knowledge of these requirements can the organisation’s board and senior managers understand their legal duties to provide safe, efficient, effective and reliable systems which are critical in supporting direct patient care. By following this guidance and applying it to the particular needs of their local healthcare organisation, boards and individual senior managers should be able to demonstrate compliance with their responsibilities.
Fire doors should have the appropriate performance as indicated in the table below. In the table the doors are identified by their performance under BS 476-22 in terms of integrity for a period of minutes (for example FD30). A suffix (S) is added for doors where restricted smoke leakage at ambient temperatures is needed. Unless pressurisation techniques complying with BS EN 12101-6: 2005 are used, doors with the suffix “S” should also have a leakage rate not exceeding 3 m3/m/hour (head and jambs only) when tested at 25 Pa under BS 476-31.1. The method of test exposure is from each side of the doors separately, except in the case of lift doors, which are tested from the landing side only.
Generally all fire doors should be fitted with an automatic self-closing device complying with BS EN 1154 or BS EN 1634-1, with the following exceptions:
- fire doors to patients’ bedrooms in facilities providing in-patient mental health services;
- fire doors to bedrooms in in-patient accommodation for people with learning disabilities; and
- fire doors which are kept locked shut.
With the exception of doors to stairways, it may be acceptable for fire doors to be held open on electrically operated door-release mechanisms provided that all of the following criteria can be satisfied:
- the door-release mechanism should conform to BS 5839-3:1988 and BS 7273-4:2007 and be fail-safe (that is, in the event of a fault or loss of power, the release mechanism should be triggered automatically);
- all doors fitted with automatic door releases should be linked to the fire detection and alarm system;
- all automatic door releases within a compartment/sub-compartment should be triggered by any of the following:
- the actuation of any automatic fire detector within the compartment/ sub-compartment;
- the actuation of any manual fire-alarm call point within the compartment/sub-compartment;
- any fault in the fire warning system within the compartment/subcompartment;
- any loss of power to the fire warning system;
- automatic door releases must be provided with a ready means of manual operation from a position at the door;
- each door fitted with an automatic door release should be closed at a predetermined time each night and remain closed throughout sleeping hours. If for reasons of management this is impracticable, it should be the specific responsibility of the fire warden (or other nominated member of staff) to operate the release mechanism at least once a week to ensure that:
- the mechanism is working effectively;
- the doors close effectively onto their frames. Please note: the installation and operation of electro-magnetic hold open/swing free door closers should also satisfy similar criteria.
All fire doors, including each leaf of double doors, should be provided with an identification disc (except in mental health accommodation). The disc should be a minimum of 45 mm in diameter, clearly indicating the fire-resisting HTM 05-02: Firecode – Guidance in support of functional provisions (Fire safety in the design of healthcare premises) Appendix C: Doors and doorsets 74 75 standard of the door (for example FD30s, FD60s etc).
Doors on escape routes
Fire doors on escape routes should be sidehung or pivoted. Revolving doors should be avoided, but where they are used, they must easily convert to outward-opening doors; or there should be outward-opening doors adjacent to the revolving door, capable of allowing safe egress for the numbers of persons likely to use them. Turnstiles and shutters are not acceptable on escape routes and should not be used.
Sliding doors are acceptable on escape routes provided they convert to outward-opening doors when subjected to reasonable pressure from any direction. In the case of powered sliding doors, they should in addition be provided with a monitoring system to ensure that they fail-safe to the fully open position in the event of a power failure.
Door swings should not obstruct the circulation space or the designed width of the escape route. However, doors to cupboards etc that are normally locked may open onto circulation routes, but it is recommended that such doors should open through 180º to avoid obstruction.
Fire doors across escape routes providing alternative means of escape must be doubleswing, and those across escape routes providing single direction of escape should open in the direction of escape.
Fire-exit doors to rooms containing more than 60 people should open outwards from the room. Door swing direction for escape routes within mental health facilities should be reviewed on a risk assessment basis.
Fire doors across circulation routes should be fitted with glazed observation panels to a height of 500 mm above the threshold of the door.