The London Fire Brigade has announced that serious fire safety failures have been found in care homes across London by Brigade inspectors.
During the extensive investigation, 177 care homes were visited in order to gauge the level of fire risk across the capital in a one-off series of in-depth inspections.
The Brigade’s findings included the following serious fire safety breaches:
- One in three premises with inadequate or poorly maintained fire doors
- Widespread confusion about fire evacuation strategies
- Fire risk assessments being carried out by people without the proper skills and experience
- Roofs being omitted from fire risk assessments (roof voids often increase the spread and severity of a fire)
LFB officials are so concerned with the findings, that they have written to every care home in the capital demanding that they urgently review their fire risk assessments, emergency plans and staff training.
The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said:
“My main concern is that this audit is only the tip of the iceberg.
“Care home owners need to urgently review their fire risk assessments and ensure their staff know how to safely evacuate their residents, especially those who are immobile.
“If you were placing your loved one into the care of others, you would expect them to be safe but for too many people, the very roof they are sleeping under could put them at risk.”
In 2017, two people died in a Cheshunt care home after a fire travelled through voids in the roof which allowed it to quickly engulf the entire building.
Crews from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue and London Fire Brigade found residents in many rooms, many too frail too move themselves to safety.
Miraculously, 33 residents were rescued by the brave firefighters.
Assistant Commissioner Daly continued:
“To make a proper fire risk assessment, you need to properly understand how fire can travel and develop, otherwise you’re just guessing your safety plan.
“You wouldn’t let an
“We sincerely urge care homes to take note of the findings in this report, and learn lessons for future inspections.”
Debbie Ivanova, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care for the London Region, said:
“It’s the responsibility of those in charge of running care homes to ensure the right fire protection measures are in place in order to keep people safe.
“Where we find areas of concern, we share these with the local fire service – as the enforcer of fire safety in care homes – and include in our published inspection reports. These findings will influence whether we judge a service to be outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.
“We know that good care home providers invest in proper and regular fire training for their staff, ensure that emergency plans are kept up-to-date and carry out frequent checks of premises and equipment. But as the London Fire Brigade’s findings make clear, good fire safety isn’t the norm everywhere.
“I encourage all care home providers to make full use of these findings so they can make continual improvements that will help keep everyone safe.”
If you have a story, video or one-off blog that you would like to share with us, then you can contact our team of former emergency services & armed forces personnel either through our Facebook page, via Twitter ( @ES_News_ ) or you can contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you run or manage a ‘job’ social media account and you would like us to share one of your stories then send us a tweet or a message!
If you would like to write an article that you would like us to share (it can be about anything to do with the emergency services / NHS) whether you serve in the emergency services / NHS or whether you are a member of the public who has had a good experience with the emergency services, then feel free to contact our team; anonymously if you prefer.
We are proud to act as a voice for the emergency services, armed forces & health service, with over 500,000 people visiting our website each month.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of our readers.
And remember, if you have a service, product or job vacancy that you would like to promote to our large readership, then you can buy advertising space in our articles.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.