Care Homes - The next fire disaster waiting to happen


www.fire-magazine.com have published an article with a stark warning of probable multiple fatalities due to a fire in a residential care home. The article states that there have been a growing number of fires at which, but for good luck and an early attendance, serious life loss would have occurred. Hinchley Wood in Surrey is cited as an example. Unfortunately one person did die in this fire but dozens of others were rescued. The owners were subsequently fined £360,000 for failing to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessment, a failure to take general fire precautions, failure to ensure maintenance of systems and fire doors and not providing staff with adequate training. The article then goes on to state that in London alone there were 421 accidental fires in nursing and care homes between 2014 and 2016.

We understand that funding is tight for the companies that manage these types of properties but surely saving lives should be of the highest priority. Maintaining fire doors will hold back the fire and slow down the spread of the fire, giving residents time to escape and also reduce the damage caused to the property. Appointing FDIS Certified Fire Door Inspectors to inspect the doors at the properties will  ensure that the doors are checked correctly and that any recommended works are correct and no money is wasted, carrying out works that are not necessary or incorrect, causing further works to be required and additional costs.