We are all unfortunately aware of the devastating consequences of fire after the Grenfell Tower disaster. This is now a key time for many businesses including care homes to look inward and review their own fire safety requirements.

Evacuating people in the event of a fire is further complicated when the elderly are involved. As we age, our bodies and minds inevitably change. The risk of developing mental and physical health conditions increases and these make elderly people more vulnerable to fire. Therefore, the risks associated with any care home evacuation are heightened due to the following:

  • Senses start to deteriorate, which can affect awareness. Hearing, smell and touch could be affected. The inability to hear fire alarms, smell smoke or feel heat could all be affected and impair decision making.
  • Mental vulnerability could be a factor in dementia affecting decision making. This, in turn, could slow reaction times and cause confusion when a fire is started.
  • Impaired movement means that mobility is reduced and could hinder escape. This is further complicated when residents are bedridden.

Disasters have also occurred in the Care home sector, those with long memories will remember the Rosepark incident where 14 elderly residents died at a care home in Scotland in 2004. Unfortunately, other incidents are still occurring.

The BBC reported that St Michael’s Hospice in East Sussex admitted two breaches of fire safety laws after the deaths of three people following a blaze. Previous to that the East Anglian Times reported a number of fire safety breaches at an Essex Care Home including where fire doors had been locked!

The list goes on, so it does lead to the question ‘How can care homes can make fire safety compliance easy?’

What do businesses need to know?

We are all extremely busy doing our day jobs and remembering and finding time in our hectic schedules for fire safety can sometimes slip down the pecking order.

Under the RRO (regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005) – all those with responsibility for a premise have an obligation for fire safety within that building, ensuring the safety for all occupants whether they be staff, residents, or visitors.

A fundamental part of workplace fire safety is the building’s fire risk assessment. The fire risk assessment calls for records to be kept, available to be shared, updated and reviewed, for all fire safety related matters. This is known as a “fire safety log book”

Completing this is essential for keeping on top of fire safety requirements as it allows you to highlight, address and rectify issues but it all takes valuable time. Completing paper log books, contacting suppliers and managing reminders is all time-consuming.

How can technology simplify compliance?

Tio Fire Safety makes compliance easy! In short fire safety can be difficult for the uninitiated, so at Tio, our goal is to remove barriers for businesses and ensure they can efficiently keep up to date with their fire safety tasks and duties.

This includes supporting you in understanding your requirements, guiding you in setting up reminders and how to complete tasks. A reporting mechanism to your chosen fire safety providers means that problems are solved immediately, quickly, and without fuss. This productivity tool also provides visibility and transparency to your business so you can become and stay compliant.

So if we answer the original question, ‘Is fire safety for care homes getting simpler?’ with the help of new innovative tools like Tio, it can definitely become easier and less stressful and provide a greater amount of comfort and security to business owners, staff and residents.

To learn more, visit www.tiofiresafety.com and start your FREE trial.