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During the NHS’s 70-year history the UK’s hospitals and healthcare facilities have evolved and expanded, presenting estate managers with a unique set of fire safety challenges.

Checkmate Fire is proud to have worked with many NHS trusts over the last 20 years, providing fire stopping solutions and compliance services to help them meet all their legal requirements and, more importantly, to protect patients, staff, expensive equipment and buildings.

Passive fire protection challenges

This work has enabled Checkmate to develop significant knowledge of the passive fire protection challenges faced by hospitals and expertise in minimizing the disruption to services caused when working in live healthcare environments. Checkmate Fire services for NHS trusts include:

Fire-resistant compartment lines and doors are critical aspects of the property’s fire protection strategy

Hospitals commonly face challenges in regards to evacuation, with patient needs often making immediate or total evacuation not appropriate or possible. Because of this, fire-resistant compartment lines and doors are critical aspects of the property’s fire protection strategy, restricting the spread of fire and smoke, and allowing time for the site’s progressive horizontal evacuation strategy to be implemented.

Fire stopping and fire doors

Compartmentation plays a crucial role in containing fire and is achieved by dividing the building into ‘fire compartments’ through the use of fire-resistant flooring, walls and cavity barriers within roof voids. Having the right fire-rated doors is another essential part of this compartmentation. Typically the fire doors used in the NHS are designed to offer 30 minutes of protection – although doors that prevent fire spread for longer periods are available for locations where evacuation may be a slower process.

Checkmate’s specialist teams can both specify and install the most suitable fire stopping and fire doors to achieve the required compartmentation in any new hospital building, or to bring an older property up to standard. Installing the right type of fire door is only part of the solution though, as they also need to be in the right condition to work effectively in the event of a blaze.

Independent fire door survey

As many of the hundreds of fire doors in a hospital are used on a daily basis, they are at risk of damage from trolleys, wheelchairs and people. And damaged doors can mean drastically reduced periods of protection from fire, smoke and heat. To prevent this scenario, Checkmate Fire offer a professional, independent fire door survey service; carried out by their BRE/LPCB certified inspectors.

They provide a full report on the fire doors on the customer’s premises and outline any restoration

They provide a full report on the fire doors on the customer’s premises and outline any restoration or replacement works that are required to ensure compliance. To ensure that the fire doors are fit for purpose, they also offer a full restoration and remediation service. Checkmate Fire are fully qualified and third party accredited to carry out repairs that will not compromise the fire separation properties of the door, using suitable fire rated components.

Passive fire protection services

Once doors have been restored, they can then put into action an annual inspection and maintenance program to ensure that all doors remain fully functional, fire compliant and legal – working either directly for the NHS Trust or through a contract with the facilities manager.

Checkmate Fire have extensive experience working in open environments and on sensitive wards and sites across multiple locations, keeping staff, patients and assets safe, while providing critical fire safety works. Having worked in everything from small health centers to major multi-building hospital estates, the unrivaled knowledge of the healthcare sector enables them to effectively deliver the third party accredited passive fire protection services on time and within budget.

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