Fire safety – How safe is your care home?

Fire safety – It can be a matter of life and death, especially where there are vulnerable people involved – like the residents of a care home. We explore some best practices every care home should employ to reduce their fire risk.

We spoke to the East Sussex Fire Rescue Service to find out more:

Flame Retardant Bedding

Many people are still unaware of the impacts of buying non flame retardant bedding. Using non flame retardant fabrics can drastically increase the risk of fire, and increase the speed at which it spreads throughout a care home. Using fire retardant fabrics can reduce fire risks in care homes, without costing too much. By using fire retardant fabrics, care home owners are doing everything in their power to reduce the risk of fire and improve the safety of their care homes.

Fire Risk Assessments and Drills

Fire risk assessments are important within a care home to ensure that it is both suitable and sufficient to protect residents from the effects of fire, part of this assessment would be to ensure that evacuation plans are achievable with available staffing levels, for example at night. Fire Drills are an integral part of fire safety and are a legal requirement in commercial properties. They can help plan escape routes and establish the performance of smoke alarms.  It also helps to ensure all escape routes are kept clear and residents and staff can gain access to fire exits. This can also ensure staff are provided with suitable training to implement the evacuation plan, including realistic practical training sessions.

Housekeeping and Storage

Ensuring products that could be combustible are not kept in rooms like boiler rooms and plant rooms for example, can help to reduce the risk of fire or the spread of it within a care home. It is also best practice to regularly check and clean these areas to prevent the accumulation of waste, which could cause or speed up fire.

Doors

By installing fire-resistant doors, this reduces the number of residents who could be in immediate risk of a fire, and allows more time for resident’s evacuation. They also prevent the spread of smoke, reducing the risk of residents inhaling smoke. Also, ensuring that the premises is divided into an appropriate number of suitably sized fire resistant compartments, to prevent the spread of fire and support the evacuation plan is key.

Sprinkler and water mist systems provide a high level of protection for vulnerable residents, and these systems help to cater for potential effects of age on mobility, sensory faculties and cognitive ability, alternatively more tailor made suppression systems can be appropriate to protect individual high risk residents.

For further advice – speak to your local Fire Rescue Service.

Wightman & Parrish can help your care home with its Fire Retardant Bedding – simply give us a call or contact your Client Manager today.

Green fire escape sign hang on the ceiling in the office.