Latest News

Here you'll find that latest news in hospital & healthcare fire safety

  • 18th November 2019

    The Fire Protection Association calls for the government combustibility ban for buildings to be based upon risk, not just height.

    Following the fire at The Cube student block in Bolton the FPA has called upon government to extend its restriction in respect of the combustibility of materials based upon risk rather than the arbitary building height of 18m .

    This is an approach long argued for by Healthfire. We have called upon NHSI to extend the requirement for external wall construction to only contain materials of limited combustibles to all healthcare buildings irrespective of their height.

    In our opinion, the potential for fire spread across copmparment boundaries via any combustible materials forming part of the external wall construction could require the simultaneous evacuation of patients from multiple compartments and across multiple levels. Such demand for evacuation assistance is likely to quickly exceed the resources available to simultaneously execute the evacuation plans for the compartments affected.

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  • 11th January 2019

    Healthfire telephone number changes

    The telephone number for Healthfire has changed from 08445 855 855 to 03445 855 855.

    Similarly the fax number for Healthfire has changed from 08445 855 856 to 03445 855 856.

    These changes mean that calls to Healthfire will cost no more than a call to a 01 or 02 number.

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  • 20th November 2017

    Authorising Engineer (Fire). Has your Trust got one?

    Recent surveys have shown that a significant proportion of NHS Trusts have not appointed an Authorising Engineer (Fire).

    These surveys revelal that many Trusts do not have formal arrangements of independent audit of their fire safety management systems and processes other than inspections by the fire and rescue services and therefore have insufficiently robust governance arrangements that could highlight and address issues prior to involvement of the enforcing authorities.

    Following the tragic events of Grenfell and the subsequent activity of questionnaires and checking, many Trusts are now seeking to appoint an Authorising Engineer (Fire). Given that there is limited resource, those Trusts that are commencing the appointment process are most likely to secure the best quality Authorising Engineer (Fire) resource.

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  • 18th September 2015

    Revision to HTM 05-02 2014 Edition has been published on the .gov website

    Health Technical Memorandum 05-02: Guidance in support of functional provisions (Fire safety in the design of healthcare premises) - 2015 Edition has been made available on the Government website Download a copy of the revised guidance here

    The revised guidance was produced to correct the errors that were present in the 2014 edition.

    Appendix L of the revised document provides details of the corrections and amendments made which consist of typographical errors, referencing errors, fundamental errors such as changing "dependent" to "independent" and amendments to requirements of door closers and fire door performance.

    The amendment of a Firecode guidance document so soon after publication is unprecedented, but welcome given the lengthy of time that the first version of HTM 05-02 continued without correction to its fundamental errors.

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  • 11th June 2014

    HTM 05-02 2014 Edition has been published on the .gov website

    Health Technical Memorandum 05-02: Guidance in support of functional provisions (Fire safety in the design of healthcare premises) - 2014 Edition has been available on the Government website since mid-May

    The guidance written by BRE and Capita is largely a refresh of the previous guidance with the errors corrected.

    Some much needed guidance is provided in respect of mental health facilities, and reference is made to the CQC types of healthcare service. Unfortunately, the time allocated for producing the document was ridiculously short so the revised guidance still doesn't truly reflect the modern healthcare environment, taking much of its lead from guidance produced in 1958!

    There are a number of errors in the new document, particularly the referencing, and there are some areas that don't appear to make sense, but that's what happens when guidance is rushed!

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  • 27th September 2013

    HTM 05-01 2nd Edition well received with many Trusts adopting the guidance

    Health Technical Memorandum 05-01: Managing healthcare fire safety - Second Edition has been available on the Government website since April

    The feedback has been good with many stating that the guidance takes "...a refreshing approach" and "...clearly sets out what's needed."

    The revised guidance places an emphasis upon process and a robust systems approach to management which is a significant change to a typically "person driven - person focussed" approach that has led to many high profile managerial failings.

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  • 24th April 2013

    HTM 05-01 2nd Edition now published

    Health Technical Memorandum 05-01: Managing healthcare fire safety - Second Edition has now been published on the Government website

    HTM 05-01 has been completely rewritten to take account of the fire safety legislative framework, the changing healthcare environment and Healthfire's fire safety audit experience and related findings .

    The revised guidance document provides greater detail about developing a robust fire safety management system.

    Healthfire was the technical author for the new publication and completed the project to a very tight timescale and a keen budget.

    A copy of the revised guidance can be downloaded here

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  • 4th February 2013

    HTM 05-01 2nd Edition on its way

    Healthfire has drafted the 2nd Edition of HTM 05-01, and the document has now been circulated for the purposes of Technical Engagement.

    HTM 05-01 has been completely rewritten to take account of the fire safety legislative framework, the changing healthcare environment and Healthfire's fire safety audit experience and related findings .

    The draft document provides greater detail about developing a robust fire safety management system.

    The document is scheduled to be ready for publication by the end of March 2013

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  • 15th June 2012

    Fire safety audits reveal significant shortcomings

    Healthfire has been undertaking a number of fire safety audits in different healthcare organisations and have uncovered many systemic failures in the management of fire safety.

    Common findings are a lack of communication between different functions, a failure to adequately record activity, and a failure to reflect temporary increases in hazards in the fire risk assessments.

    It is clear that the management systems in many healthcare organisations are failing to adequately discharge the duties placed on the Responsible Person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

    Contact us to find out how a robust audit of your fire safety arrangements could prevent your organisation failing to meet its responsibilities.
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  • 10th March 2011

    Could your Fire Safety Policy be hindering your fire safety?

    Healthfire has long advocated that a fire safety policy should be a concise statement of the fire safety aims and objectives of the organisation.

    Many fire safety policy documents go well beyond this including references to management structures, fire prevention processes and emergency action procedures.

    Such an approach can significantly reduce an organisation's ability to effectively manage and control fire safety issues.

    Contact us to find out how your fire safety policy may be hindering your fire safety.
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  • 8th October 2010

    HTM 05-03 Part M has finally been published.

    As of today HTM 05-03 Part M:"Guidance on the fire safety of atria in healthcare buildings" is available as a published guidance document.

    The new HTM has been published in the Space for Health publications catalogue (for England only).

    Healthfire is producing a short CPD course to highlight the provisions of the new guidance. Email us to Request CPD.

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  • 13th September 2010

    HTM 05-03 Part M to be published early October 2010.

    A source at the Central Office of Information (COI) has indicated that the publication of HTM 05-03 Part M:"Guidance on the fire safety of atria in healthcare buildings" is scheduled for early October 2010.

    Finally after lengthy delays as a result of the general election and subsequent political process it seems that Part M has reached the final stage prior to publication.

    Gateway (the department that reviews and authorises government communications to the NHS) has restarted its review process and the HTM has been re-submitted.

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  • 18th May 2010

    Further delays to HTM 05-03 Part M possible.

    The publication of HTM 05-03 Part M:"Guidance on the fire safety of atria in healthcare buildings" is likely to be delayed further.

    Under Gateway "rules" nothing can be published until 100 days after the formation of the new government or until their policy intentions become clear. This could mean that publication will be delayed until late August or beyond.

    The Central Office of Information (COI) who is responsible for DH publications is reviewing the possibility of special dispensation to allow HTM 05-03 Part M to be published earlier given the gap in the Firecode suite of guidance, ongoing healthcare projects and that the guidance does not contain potentially contentious policy issues.

    We'll keep you posted.

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  • 8th April 2010

    HTM 05-03 Part M publication delayed until after the general election.

    Following the announcement of the general election, the publication of HTM 05-03 Part M:"Guidance on the fire safety of atria in healthcare buildings" is to be delayed.

    Under "purdah" restrictions (a term used by the civil service to describe the pre-election period when politically contentious announcements should not be made), Gateway (the department that reviews and authorises government communications to the NHS) has halted its review of the HTM.

    Following the general election the HTM will be re-submitted to Gateway and it is hoped that the guidance document will be published by the end of May.

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  • 1st April 2010

    Prorofilla revealed as an April Fool's Joke.

    Despite POROFILLA being an anagram of APRIL FOOL, many email recipients followed the link to the Porofilla webpage

    You can see the story here

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  • 29th March 2010

    Healthfire launches a new look website with a free "Help & Advice" section.

    Now that the Department of Health is no longer providing general fire safety advice, Healthfire is pleased to offer healthcare related fire safety advice through our website.

    Just click on the "Help & Advice" link to see what others have asked and click on the "Request Advice" link to submit your own request for fire safety advice

    Don't all rush at once or it might take some time for us to work our way through it all!

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  • 15th March 2010

    Healthfire has completed writing the new Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) on behalf of the Department of Health.

    The new guidance document will be known as HTM 05-03 Part M and is titled - "Guidance on the fire safety of atria in healthcare buildings". The Central Office of Information (COI) is hoping to publish the new guidance on behalf of the Department of Health by the end of March 2010

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  • 15th November 2009

    The Department of Health withdraws fire safety advice.

    Paul Roberts, fire safety policy lead at the Department of Health, has confirmed the rumours that due to a re-organisation of work undertaken by the Gateway Reviews, Estates & Facilities Division within the Department of Health, general fire safety advice will no longer be available from the Department. This shocking announcement will mean an end to the high quality fire safety advice from the publishers of Firecode.

    Healthfire will continue to provide healthcare specific fire safety advice and we are currently redesigning our website to include a help and advice forum.

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