Fires can occur in many ways within the care industry, in 2013 there were 10 fires a week in London care homes and sheltered accommodation alone.
In 2015, London Fire Brigade released the figure, 30 people who died in accidental fires 13 were either receiving care at home or were in a care home.
Recent events in the UK news have indicated to us that fire safety is an issue which needs to be addressed in care homes and hospices. By raising awareness we can help ensure the safety of the staff and residents in event of a fire.
In order to help save lives across the UK and raise awareness, here is 4 things that can help prepare your care home in case of a fire.
Fires per week in London care homes/ sheltered accomodation
Those in care homes that died as a result of accidental fires in London
1. Carry out a fire risk assessment:
Failure to carry out a fire risk assessment is detrimental to the safety of your home, staff and residents. A care home was recently fined more that £400,000 for safety breaches after an elderly resident was killed in a fire.
These can act as a life-saving tool by reducing the rate that the fire spreads throughout the home. As some residents may experience reduced mobility, the sprinklers can offer them more time to evacuate the premises than without.
Ensure that your staff are trained and know what to do in the event of a fire. This can be through giving them an induction to common standards and practices. By understanding practices that prevent fires from starting and spreading, you can promote fire safety in your care environment.
4. Individual smoking risk assessment:
It is common to get residents that smoke in care homes and for each resident that does a risk assessment is needed. This should be carried out by a member of staff and the resident, family or friend (depending on who is competent enough to have an understanding of the risks). The assessment should include identification of the hazards, evaluation of the risks and measure of control.