NHS: Fire Extinguishers

Health written question – answered on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many and what proportion of NHS hospitals are equipped with sprinkler systems;

(2) what guidance his Department has produced on the use of sprinkler systems in (a) hospitals and (b) other NHS buildings.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

Information on the number of national health service hospitals equipped with sprinkler systems is not collected centrally.

The Department publishes guidance on fire safety for the NHS in England in the "Firecode" suite of documents. This requires that all NHS organisations in England comply with legislation relating to fire safety. The guidance it contains about the installation of sprinklers in health care buildings is consistent with the policy of the Chief Fire Officers' Association.

While the "Firecode" guidance does not specifically require the installation of sprinkler systems in patient care areas of health care buildings, it does make it clear that the design team is expected to consider the advantages that might be gained by installing sprinklers throughout the building. "Firecode" does however recommend that auto-suppression systems (which can include sprinkler systems) should be installed in clearly defined high fire risk or high fire load areas that are located adjacent to patient accommodation.

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