Fire Safety in Care Homes FAQs
To accompany our article series on fire safety in care homes, Fire Action have put together these essential FAQs, covering topics ranging from identifying hazards to prevention of fires.
How to Prevent a Fire in a Care Home?
Fire prevention is a detailed, complex matter that requires logical thinking and help from professional equipment and services. Some of the things you can do to prevent a fire in a care home include:
- Ensure that staff are aware of all fire regulations and procedures, and are given the chance to practice them at least once a year.
- Review your fire risk assessment annually to ensure that any new hazards and risks are identified. This will allow for any adjustments to the evacuation or safety procedures to be made.
- Create a fire evacuation plan that works for the layout and character of your individual care home.
- Make sure your fire safety equipment is in top working order by testing it regularly. If you come across any problems, make sure to administer the appropriate maintenance or replacement.
- Keep flammable materials to a minimum, and practice good housekeeping.
What Causes Hazards in Aged Care?
Common causes of fire in a care home can involve an array of chemical, electrical, paper, and gas products. Fires occur primarily by accident and poor handling of these items/substances by users.
In a setting with vulnerable people, such as care homes, the responsibility lies most heavily with staff to identify and address these hazards. Without a doubt, poor training is a big cause for the emergence of these hazards, and indeed, for these hazards being left without a solution.
What Are Examples of Hazards in a Care Home?
Potential hazards in a care home can differ depending on the individual establishment, its management, its layout and how well-trained the staff are.
Some of these hazards can result in the ignition of fires, or hinder the evacuation process.
Examples of hazards include:
- Presence of medical oxygen.
- Obstructions and trip hazards.
- Cooking areas and open flames.
- Inadequate evacuation procedures.
- Wedged open fire doors.
What Are Care Home Regulations?
Regulations for care homes are created by government legislation, and premises are likely to undergo regular inspections to ensure they are being adhered to.
What Are Potential Sources of Heat in a Care Home?
Understanding the ways that fire ignition can begin is important. Consider the three components of the fire triangle; a source of ignition (heat), fuel, and oxygen. Without just one of these elements, the fire triangle collapses and flames cannot sustain themselves.
Potential sources of heat in a care home can include:
- Cooking/kitchen equipment
- Sparks from faulty electrical items
- Smoking materials e.g. unextinguished matches
- Open flames e.g. pilot lights
- Hot surfaces
Read the next Part: Carrying Out Fire Risk Assessments in Care Homes
Experienced at providing premier fire safety equipment and training, Fire Action can help create expert safety solutions tailored to your care home. We provide comprehensive training, alarm systems and extinguishers to clients across the Kent region. To get a free survey and quote, simply contact us today – we’ll be happy to help.