Care homes are places of care for vulnerable people, a place of protection and safety. Therefore, this means residents should be safeguarded from the potential risks of fires. Fires can claim lives and elderly people living in care homes are even more susceptible. So make sure your care homes are fire safe and don’t run the risk of Punishments and Prosecutions to the Detriment of Fires in Care Homes!
Care Homes Risky figures:
Data collected by the English Housing Survey stated that those with a long-term illness or disability were more likely than those without.
- Research by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), found five main groups that are at a greater risk of dying in a fire. Of those five groups, unfortunately, the elderly are one and those with a disability another.
- In Government research, it was found that over 45% of all fire fatalities in 2016/17 were aged 65 and over.
Therefore, what can we do to prevent deaths in care homes due to fires?
A suitable fire alarm system needs to be installed, considering the ability of all those under your care. For a residence containing vulnerable people the highest category of fire alarm system to protect life should be installed. A variation of alarms may be needed for the variety of abilities within your care home.
Example: Residents with difficulty hearing may need specialised signals of alarm to alert them to the risk of fires. For example VADs (Visual Alarm Devices) or vibrating pillows.
Under the Disabled Discrimination Act (DDA) of 2004, it is part of the fire safety law to provide a safe means of refuge for disabled persons in the event of a fire. Furthermore, PEEPs (Personalised Emergency Evacuation Plan) should be detailed and tailored to individuals to ensure the best possible procedure is in place in the event of an emergency.
Example: Residents with physical impairments should have plans in place and a PEEP considered. If the premises is over more than one floor where of course the stairs pose an issue but where the lift may be automatically deactivated upon the fire alarm being sounded.
It is a legal requirement for a fire risk assessment to be carried out upon a care home. This fire risk assessment is recommended to be reviewed at least every 12 months. For example, it should be regularly updated in cases where the premises purpose has changed, the furniture rearranged or if any new care equipment is introduced.
Example: Highly flammable materials, Faulty electricals, fire doors which are wedged open and emergency exits which are blocked.
Keep a record and all the details of fire evacuation drills, weekly fire alarm checks, fire extinguisher checks, training records, and annual inspections. Log your fire incidents and be sure to read the extra fire safety tips on each point within it.
Unsure of whether your care home has the right protection for keeping compliant? Then get in touch now! Call us on 0845 402 3045 or email us email@example.com