FIREX FPA presentation
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Preparing for a fire safety audit in a residential care home

Benfield Fire Safety attended a great presentation at FIREX International 2019 delivered by Chris Callow of London Fire Brigade and hosted by the FPA. It was titled ‘Fire Safety in Residential Care Homes – Common Failures and Lessons Learned’.

Chris said that the London Fire Brigade among other fire authorities will be auditing all care homes under their authority to ensure compliance with fire safety law. Audits are due to take place in September and October 2019. Those found to be non-compliant could be served with enforcement and prosecution may take place.

Here are some points to consider in order to prepare for your audit:

  1. Do your staff only undergo eLearning as the method of fire safety education, if so, you need to move towards blended learning as eLearning is a one-dimensional approach that is not fit for purpose.
  2. How many staff are employed on your nightshift and how many service users do you have? Can your staff effectively move residents in a compartment of up to six bedrooms into another area of the building and behind two fire doors as part of your evacuation strategy within 2.5 minutes?
  3. Have you tested your evacuation strategy in a simulated capacity, not involving residents, of course, to see if you can achieve the evacuation strategy within the prescribed timeframes?
  4. Do you ensure for the night shift that the fire authority is called before other actions are addressed? Time is critical if you have a fire and the minutes lost could prove to be devastating for the occupants, families and your business.

If you own a residential care home and would like more fire safety advice – please get in touch with me by calling 0300 303 3277 or emailing customerservice@benfieldfs.co.uk