A Guide to What Care Homeowners Need to Do to Keep the Residents Safe in Londonby Heather Hall Heather Hall has led the Coordinating team at LFRA
Fires happen in Care Homes – it’s a fact, but what do Care Homeowners need to do to keep our vulnerable people safe?
Owning or managing a Care Home is a huge responsibility, families entrust that their most precious, vulnerable loved ones are kept safe from the threat of a Fire. But sadly, Fires happen!
For example, a recent Fire in a Laundry Room on the 1st Floor of a Care Home in Kew was completely destroyed. Two more Fires, one in a Bromley Care Home and one in Bow both ‘causes unknown’ and being investigated but they still happened, fortunately no one was hurt in these incidents!
So, what can the Care Homes’ ‘Responsible Person’ do to try and safeguard against Fire?
Firstly, and most importantly every Care Home should have a Fire Safety Risk Assessment for their Building. It’s the law and there are no excuses for not having one! A ‘suitable and sufficient’ Fire Safety Risk Assessment will be an in-depth report and will identify any Fire Safety deficiencies. Once issued to the ‘Responsible Person’ it will be their responsibility to ensure that the identified Fire Safety Actions are completed, and the premise made safe.
Older people, people with disabilities, people with visual and hearing impairments, and people who are vulnerable for other reasons all need careful consideration when it comes to Fire Safety. They may not be able to responds to a Fire as quickly, or be able to escape a Fire, they may be more at risk due to lifestyle factors. Using healthcare equipment such as oxygen or emollient creams that are flammable must be a consideration too.
So, what do you need to know to give the best possible care? Be aware of the risks and know what you need to do!
The Fire Safety Risk Assessment for the Building will include a Fire Safety Emergency Plan – this will detail the evacuation procedure and will incorporate all the considerations outlined above. But it is no good having a detailed Emergency Plan and the Staff not knowing how to manage the evacuation! It is imperative that Fire Safety Training is given regularly, and Staff know exactly what to do in a time of emergency.
Some vulnerable people may need their own Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) and this must be included in the overall Evacuation Plan. PEEP’s need to be reviewed and update regularly as the vulnerable persons circumstance may change and so to their Evacuation Plan.
London Care Homes should try and develop a good, ongoing relationship with their Fire Safety Risk Assessor, the more both parties work together the more likely the risks will lessen.
Finding a ‘qualified’ Fire Risk Assessor or Fire Safety Consultancy isn’t as simple as a general internet search because that just brings up pages of ad’s from Fire Safety Equipment Suppliers that offer Fire Safety Risk Assessment ‘deals’ claiming to beat any quote etc., they are so tempting but stop and think - will they really save you money in the long run?
The ‘Responsible Persons’ need to do their homework to ensure that the Assessor coming to carryout the Fire Safety Inspection/Audit is ‘qualified’ to do so. One of the best places to find a ‘qualified’ Fire Risk Assessor is the Institution of Fire Engineers. On their website homepage they have an Approved Fire Risk Assessors Register, just enter your postcode and a list of ‘qualified’ Risk Assessors in your area will come up! It’s as simple as that!
London Fire Risk Assessments are a Fire Safety Consultancy and are completely independent of any Fire Safety Equipment Supplier, so their advice is totally unbiased. All their Fire Safety Risk Assessors have qualified with the Institution of Fire Engineers and are all retired London Fire Brigade Fire Safety Officers. So, they have many years’ experience in both putting out Fires and preventing them!
If you are an owner of a London Care Home and need some Fire Safety advice or a Fire Safety Risk Assessment, then call their helpful support team or talk to one of their Assessors, they will be happy to help. They will give you a call or make an appointment for a Fire Safety Inspection/Audit. Remember, it is your responsibility to keep our vulnerable people safe!
Created on Feb 25th 2020 05:39. Viewed 217 times.