Care homes in the frame for fire safety improvements

MPs have called on Government to extend fire safety regulations in care homes.

In a debate on fire sprinklers in care homes, Sarah Jones (Croydon Central) (Lab) demanded an extension of the ban on flammable cladding to care homes.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP) called for sprinklers to be fitted into all new residential care homes, and to be retrofitted into existing homes – a call that has also been made by the insurance industry. He said: “Sprinklers are not the panacea for fire safety, but the evidence base tells us that they can have an impact… and are part of the compendium of fire safety measures that we need.”

According to research, sprinklers in care homes have been found to be cost-effective. In Wales, it has been law since 2013 to fit automatic fire suppression systems in newly-built care homes.

Minister for housing Kit Malthouse  said the Government was still reviewing fire safety policy following the Grenfell Tower fire. He said: “Decisions on whether to install a fire suppression system should be informed by a robust analysis of the specifics of a building, in consultation with the fire services.

if there is pressure from residents in any particular building to provide sprinklers, then I would expect local authorities and landlords to be alive to that and consider their options carefully.”

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