25 September 2014

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland has published a Northern Ireland Health Technical Memorandum (NIHTM) which covers Fire Risk Assessment in Healthcare Premises.

The document considers the full range of issues that affect fire safety in hospitals and other health premises. 

In addition to the physical fire precautions that may be provided, it also considers:

•  The dependency of the patients;

•  Fire hazards within the building;

•  Management policies;

•  The availability of sufficient adequately trained staff. 

It provides a fire engineering approach to risk assessment based on the balancing of life risk, fire hazards and existing fire precautions. 

The document provides information on statutory requirements, the use of assessment areas to evaluate risks and hazards, guidance on staff training, and risk assessment in patient and non-patient areas. 

A series of worksheets have been included to help responsible people to evaluate hazards in different areas of the premises and ensure that required standards are met in training, means of escape and fire prevention and protection.

Click here to download the document: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/nihtm_86_part_2.pdf

A suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment must be conducted on all commercial properties in Northern Ireland under the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

If the fire risk assessment is deemed to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Appropriate Person can face an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.