Heathfield Care Home is a country house setting near Chichester in West Sussex run by AMJ Care Limited. It has 18 single rooms on the ground floor and a further 5 rooms on the first floor accessible by a lift. Benfield Fire Safety has been providing fire safety training and other services at this property and three other care homes in Fareham owned by the client.
- Fire consultancy services
- Fire risk assessments
- Fire emergency evacuation plans (FEEP)
- Fire safety awareness training
- Fire evacuation drills
- Fire extinguisher training
Our Approach And Solution
Benfield Fire Safety provides annual fire risk assessments to all of the client’s care homes and provides ongoing advice and support throughout the year. We have advised the client and consulted with the local authority and fire authority on their behalf in relation to technical matters and also plans for new build care homes.
Further ongoing services include fire safety awareness training which is scheduled with the care home managers to ensure that all staff have attended at least once per year. Training sessions are rotated to include our digital and gas simulator. The digital fire simulator is used in conjunction with our laser extinguishers and smoke goggles carried out in a safe manner inside the homes. Staff are trained to investigate simulated fires, extinguish fires “if it is safe to do so” and recover bed bound residents. We also include the use of sledges with a weighted mannequin and train staff how to take it down the stairs as part of their fire emergency evacuation plan (FEEP). Our gas simulator is a training rig used in an outside setting to create a real controlled fire, which staff have to put out using real fire extinguishers.
The effectiveness of this training and also the FEEP are tested through facilitated fire evacuation drills, which we make as realistic as possible using our digital fire simulator and a smoke machine. This exercise did not involve any residents in the home and the fire authority and alarm receiving centre are advised of the test to avoid unnecessary call-outs.
Interesting and relevant training
We interviewed several fire safety companies and chose Benfield Fire Safety because they were the most professional and offered interesting, realistic and relevant fire safety training. The use of “faux” fires that staff extinguish coupled with a fire evacuation means that if they ever encountered a fire – they would actually remember their training and be able to apply the safest solution. The feedback received from staff could not be better; they are interested in attending and learn from the sessions. We cannot conduct a mock evacuation of our residents but the staff can be trained on how to do so safely and it has helped them to feel confident in the event of an emergency.
The fire risk assessments and fire evacuation plans for each of our care homes are thorough and easy to follow for all to use, and for us as owners to see where we need to make changes and invest.