Evacuation in a hospital - fire protection engineering:
An evacuation in a hospital is very unlikely to require anyone to go outside. The buildings are split into numerous fire compartments so that it is only necessary for people to move from the compartment containing the fire into a neighbouring compartment to have put themselves in a place of relative safety. Depending upon the size of the hospital there will be a number of separate compartments to which people can resort.
The layout of hospitals requires careful consideration at the design stage to ensure that no matter where a fire starts,people in the compartment of fire origin can move, or be moved, safely into a neighbouring compartment.
This often requires that each compartment has two separate neighbouring ones. Ideally, the routes to neighbouring compartments should be level and should not involve stairs but sometimes, usually in smaller hospitals, routes may involve stairs.
When people have moved from the fire compartment into a neighbouring one, they will have gained an extended period when they are safe from fire but they may have to move further from the fire into another compartment. This might become necessary, for example, when fire fighters start tackling the fire and have to open doors allowing smoke to travel through corridors.
The objective is always to minimise the disruption to the patients, also minimising the risk.
New hospitals should have evacuation lifts installed that allow patients to be moved between floors. The lifts should be large enough to accommodate beds and they should have fire protected lift lobbies that are large enough to accommodate a number of beds.