Care Homes are places where residents should feel happy and secure, entrusting owners and staff members to run the home in a way that is compliant and creates a safe environment.
This is why anyone managing a care home needs to place fire safety as a priority, implementing and maintaining sufficient safety procedures for everyone's sake.
Here at Twenty4, we are proud to be working with several care homes in the South Wales region, working as their fire safety partners to ensure their homes are fire safe.
Below, we take a look at ways in which care homes can ensure their establishment is fire safe and in line with current fire safety laws.
Care Homes are usually large premises of multiple occupancies. Therefore, if a small fire were to break out, it could be minutes, even hours before anyone realises. This is why fire alarms and detection systems are simply a must.
Though this is the case with all buildings, the very nature of a care home means that the building is likely to occupy vulnerable, immobile, visually impaired and disabled people. This is what makes intelligent, effective alarm systems so vital.
Recent updates to fire regulations state that fire alarms at residential care homes need to immediately notify the emergency services if a fire is detected. It also states the need for visual fire alarms for those who are deaf or have partial hearing.
Fire extinguishers are capable of both extinguishing small fires and keeping larger blazes at bay.
However, there are many types of fire extinguishers suitable for all sorts of fires. For instance, you will require a Water extinguisher to put out fires caused by paper and wood but a C02 Extinguisher if the fire has been ignited by flammable liquids. So, it isn’t a case of buying a load of extinguishers. To understand the extinguishers you do need, you will need to carry out an in-depth fire risk assessment.
Fire Risk assessments
Annual fire risk assessments need to be carried out by law. These are risk assessments that gauge what your care home’s fire risks are, how you can reduce them and identify the people most at risk if a fire were to break out.
Installing fire doors and fire door retainers is another move that can help limit the impact of fire on residents and the care home itself. Helping slow down and stop fires from spreading, fire doors ultimately give people in the care home more time to exit the home in the event of a fire. Intelligent doors can also be connected to fire alarms; set-ups that have proven rather beneficial in the past.
One of the quickest ways to eradicate most fires is with the application of water. This is why sprinklers exist. Sprinklers effectively sprinkle water through the buildings in which they are installed when the heat is detected. Though sprinklers are not a legal obligation for care homes, many are campaigning to make them mandatory.
This includes the London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Dany Cotton.
She said: "Sprinklers save lives, they're not a luxury.
"We think they're essential in every high-rise building, and in places where our most vulnerable residents live - places like care homes.
"The LFB is campaigning on vital things like sprinklers because we think that no community should ever have to suffer in the way Grenfell has."
Looking to make your care home fire safe?
If so, contact Twenty4 today. First, we will conduct your fire risk assessment. From there, we can advise on the best products and services to protect your care home.