Top FM company improve fire safety in hospital with expert help from Meritas
A world class provider of FM services identified that the fire dampers at a hospital it managed were due for inspection, testing and potentially cleaning.
Fire dampers are devices installed in the ducts of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and should automatically close on the detection of heat. They are designed to impede the spread of smoke and fire, buying invaluable time to evacuate the building which, is essential in a hospital where there are sick or immobile patients.
Meritas Fire and Security Protection Ltd were known to the FM company for fire damper work carried out within other organisations and knew their work came highly recommended. Meritas were invited to carry out visual inspections on the system and propose recommendations to inspect, clean and test the fire dampers.
Meritas inspected over 200 dampers throughout the hospital and prepared a detailed schedule of work. The client was very impressed with the thoroughness of Meritas’ inspection and the transparency and affordability of their quotation to carry out remedial work. As a result, Meritas were asked to carry out work to manually test, clean and re-set the fire dampers.
The Facilities Manager commented “nothing was too much trouble for the guys at Meritas, they had a challenge in identifying where all the dampers were located and many of the hatches were too small for access or obstructed by electrical cable and water pipes. Not to be deterred, Meritas took their time to ensure all the dampers had been identified and cut out brand new hatches where necessary. It was apparent Meritas had the necessary knowledge and experience from carrying out this type of work before and we were confident they would overcome any barriers.”
“Meritas have got to know our site in detail and have been able to flag other areas of potential risk, for which we are very grateful” the client added. “Their customer service is proactive and attentive”.
As a result, Meritas have been asked to quote and carry out other work within the hospital including integrating the motorised fire dampers into the fire alarm system. They have also conducted work in the Facilities Management Company’s other sites including fire integrity and compartmentation testing in three special needs respite centres and fire damper testing within a London university.
The FM managed hospital provides high quality adult and paediatric acute services and several specialist services for patients throughout the UK.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order it is a legal requirement to test fire dampers at regular intervals in accordance with fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings code of practice (BS:9999 2017) and these regulations are of course, articularly stringent in healthcare properties.
The expert work carried out by Meritas has ensured that both the FM group and hospital are fully compliant with regulations and the safety of patients and staff continues to be put first.
The work scheduled to take 9 months was completed within 6 months and on budget. It has been audited several times and deemed to be of a very high standard.