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Fire flames | Nursing Home News

Care homes in England face increased fire prevention scrutiny

Care homes in England face increased scrutiny of their fire prevention measures, following a new collaboration between the UK Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The new agreement sets out that the FRS and CQC will now share information about risks, and actual incidents relating to fires and related deaths and injuries within care homes in England to coordinate each organisations’ respective regulatory responsibilities and actions.

The agreement recognises that care home residents are more likely to be vulnerable to injury or death if there is a fire – whether because they are more likely to contribute to the likelihood of a fire, they have reduced capacity to respond, or because they have limited health/mobility. These factors already lead to a disproportionately high number of deaths and injuries from fire in this sector.

Poor understanding of these issues and a lack of fire risk assessment mean that additional fire protection measures may be overlooked, leading to avoidable deaths and injuries.

  • According to training provider iHASCO, the top three causes of fires in care homes as cooking & cookers (41 per cent), kitchen appliances (21 per cent) and smoking (13 per cent) related causes. They also highlight common concerns in care homes being out of date plans, especially as residents’ needs change frequently, lack of fire drill practice and too few staff to carry out the evacuation plan (particularly at night), inadequate fire risk assessment and poorly maintained firedoors.

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