Effectively managing fire safety in the Care sector is one of the most important duties care providers have to do. In recent years there have been well documented tragedies and unwarranted levels of risk, and as we head into 2019 there are going to be tighter regulatory expectations which look to prevent fires in the care home & improve fire safety systems throughout the industry. Our latest blog researches some of the most important care home fire safety regulations and pinpoints four crucial pieces of fire safety advice which care managers should find useful in their general roles.

Fire Safety In The Care Home

Fire Safety Tip #1 – Regular Servicing Of Care Home Fire Systems

All modern care homes have some form of L1 fire system, which is used throughout the entirety of the property to keep residents safe and detect any fires which may have broken out. Care homes are heavily reliant on their fire systems, a fully operational one should be able to detect outbreaks of smoke & heat in every single room and also automatically inform local emergency services as soon as a fire is first realised. With them being so critical in preventing fires in care homes, it’s imperative that care home fire systems are serviced regularly to ensure full working order. L1 fire systems should be serviced roughly every 6 months by a qualified expert and management should receive an updated fire alarm service certificate and take the time to update any fire log books.

Fire Safety Tip #2 – Prepare Staff For Simultaneous & Horizontal Fire Evacuations 

One of the most important care home fire safety regulations is that new starters need to be trained on fire evacuation procedures as soon as possible. When evacuating residents there are two primary forms of evacuation. Simultaneous evacuation occurs when everyone leaves the premises at the same time, as soon as the first alarm is triggered. Horizontal fire evacuations involve systematically moving residents from room to room away from the direction of fire (whilst closing all appropriate fire doors), this method is for ensuring the safety of residents who may find it hard to maintain mobility for a sustained period of time. Our fire safety advice is to train new care staff on both methods of evacuation as part of their induction training, or as soon as possible.

Fire Safety Tip #3 – Keep Re-Training Staff On Your Emergency Fire Action Plan

It is management's responsibility to have an emergency fire action plan and know the intricate details contained within that plan. Fire safety in the Care sector is all about planning ahead and making sure care homes have the correct procedures in place and that staff know how to react in the event of a fire. Your Emergency Fire Action plan should contain details such as:

-  The arrangements for contacting emergency fire services & what details need to be passed on
-  Processes and power supplies which need to be immediately stopped
-  How residents should be warned if there is a fire
-  How to initiate the evacuation procedure

These are all extremely important procedures which need to be carried out effectively, we recommend making sure your Emergency Fire Action plan is highly visible to all appropriate stakeholders and that you hold regular training sessions to go over the details. Even if no changes to the plan have been made.

Fire Safety Tip #4 – Make Sure Fire Extinguishers Are Fit For Purpose

Fire extinguishers are designed to prevent the spread of fires in care homes. To do that, they need to be in full working order and need to be able to be used by as many people as possible. Like the regular servicing of fire systems, it’s equally imperative that fire extinguishers are also serviced and when they are out of date they need to be replaced. Furthermore, to ensure that fire extinguishers can be used in an emergency they also need to be strategically placed around the care home to provide easy accessibility. 

We hope you found our care home fire safety tips useful, and that this blog provided some useful details on how you can aid the prevention of future fires. If you need more information, we do have a fantastic video training package specifically tackling fire safety in the care home environment – just click this link.