A refurbishment of an existing building to be used as a mental health facility, including sleeping accommodation on the ground and first floors. Part of the building was proposed to be an acute general admission psychiatric ward, whilst another part was proposed to be a psychiatric intensive care unit.
The nature of the building meant that double swing doors were not practical, loud sounds from the alarm could cause unrest and a final exit needed to be removed for security reasons.
Innovation Fire Engineering ensured that the fire safety provision was not reduced as a result of maintaining the required level of security for a mental health unit. Single swing doors were shown to be acceptable as there would be no mattress evacuation and where the occupancy exceeded a specific limit, we ensured that adequate exit widths opening in the direction of escape were provided.
The team were able to maintain a comfortable environment for patients on alarm activation with innovative measures.
The occupancy levels, alternative exits and management level allowed for a flexible design that was safe in terms of both fire and general security.