How To Prevent Fires In Care Homes

Thursday 27th October 2022

Alice Redshaw

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Fire prevention in care homes covers a wide range of subjects, from fire alarm systems to safety training. According to the London Fire Brigade, nearly two thirds of fires on these premises occur in the kitchen. 

To protect residents, adequate fire safety measures are needed throughout the facility. This can help save lives if a fire were to break out.

We provide specialist fire damage cleaning services nationwide, working to make your premises safe again using the latest industry equipment and solutions. Get in touch today for a free quote.

Take a look at our article to discover methods for preventing fires in care homes.

Conduct a risk assessment

To evaluate fire risks in the care home, an up-to-date risk assessment is necessary. You can even have professionals support you with this to conduct a solid analysis. 

Examples of what should be included in an assessment are:

  • Fire hazards
  • What precautions are needed
  • A review of fire safety procedures
  • Who is most at risk from fires in the facility

You must review the fire risk assessment annually and make any changes to it if something significant has happened. Any changes recommended need to be installed within the care home.

Fires can bring devastating consequences, threatening the life of those in its midst, as well as the structural integrity of the building. Should you become the victim of a fire, you must not enter the premises unless it has been declared safe to do so by the local authorities.

Ensure you have an evacuation plan

An evacuation plan is essential in your care home, mapping out what needs to be done to accomplish a successful evacuation. Be sure to keep it up to date if any changes need to be made. 

Incorporate any adaptations for vulnerable residents, setting out clear details of these. Keep the evacuation plan in a readily accessible location for the relevant persons.

To make an evacuation easier, you can:

  • Keep your care home in an easy layout
  • Update the evacuation plan wherever necessary
  • Make sure hallways are clear of obstacles

Following a fire, smoke damage can often linger for long periods of time. If this is something you are noticing within the premises, hire in professional smoke odour removal services to return the site to a safe environment.

Deal with obstructions

Obstacles in the way of fire exits can be dangerous in daily life, but particularly so in the event of a fire. Cleaning equipment, rugs and decorations should not obstruct doors, as this makes evacuations more challenging. 

A clear path to safety is especially important when it is nighttime. With this in mind, frequently check emergency lighting is covering all routes, helping you navigate your way to the exit in the dark.

All fire doors need to be kept closed and regularly monitored for any problems. From their training, employees will act proactively in an evacuation, so make sure they aren't hindered by objects in doorways.

Don't leave any waste on the floor, as this creates both a trip hazard and a fire risk. Make sure it is disposed of at the correct facility. 

Check alarms regularly 

Your fire alarm systems need to be maintained on a regular basis to check that everything is working properly. In the instance you notice a fault, have a professional come in to have a look. 

It is important that manual call areas are located on every level of the building, and that your emergency lighting is effective. You may need to implement different technologies for vulnerable residents who may be hard of hearing or sight.

This could include visual alarms or hand-held systems. In locations more prone to fires, such as in the washing facilities, bedrooms and kitchen, fire detectors are a good idea.

In order to evacuate everyone safely, your staff must be well-versed in your alarm systems, being able to identify what the different alarms mean. They should also know how to provide treatment for vulnerable people.

Provide fire safety training

Fire safety training is crucial in preventing fires in care homes. Ensure that all staff are given adequate training, and keep a record of what training has been undertaken. 

Implement measures for vulnerable residents, so whoever is on shift if a fire takes place performs the correct actions. Your evacuation plan must be practised, as it reminds staff to remain alert and make sure the procedure runs as smoothly as possible.

Included in fire safety training should be:

  • How to identify and use different types of fire extinguishers
  • What to do when you discover a fire
  • Where the emergency exits are
  • Where the evacuation meeting point is

The Government website notes that a fire drill must take place annually, and that all records need to be logged. It also states that employees should be notified if there are any new fire threats.

If you do experience a fire, it is time to call in the fire damage cleaners. At ICE Cleaning, we follow all safety regulations, working hard to safeguard the well-being of our staff and customers. For more information about our health and safety practices, click here.

Contact us now

Reach out to our team on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to book a service with our fire restoration specialists. Our dedicated customer service team operate day or night to assist our customers.

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