What's your plan?
Things to consider for your fire evacuation procedure at your care home.
Recent reports in the news of fires breaking out in care homes have truly grabbed our attention. Although fires in care homes are not a new issue they deserve more awareness to help educate others on preparing and tackling a possible situation.
Weeks ago, two residents at a care home in Hertfordshire sadly died following a fire that tore through the home. 33 residents were rescued during the incident that blazed through the first floor and roof. It was reported that firefighters had to carry residents in armchairs to get them to safety. Since the incident, there has been a just giving page set up by local residents and emergency services to aid those who have lost everything in the fire.
Another case arose at a care home in Staffordshire, the fire was started by a discarded cigarette. 28 residents were carried to safety, six people were taken to hospital, two of them were seriously injured during the blaze.
Events like these demonstrate to every care home how important it is to have an up to date risk assessment, as well as a fire evacuation plan. Due to a number of occupants within a home and the mobility of residents, fires can traumatise patients and affect the credibility of your care home- especially if there are serious casualties. Breach of fire regulations alone could cost you and your home around £100,000, as a care home in Devon proved last month.
To assist the residents (who are less mobile) in the case of a fire in your home, it is important to check the fire safety ratings and features of new or existing equipment such as mattresses and chairs. These can significantly help you be prepared in the case of a fire or other emergencies when a less mobile patient will need to be evacuated.
On patient pressure care mattresses it is important to check whether or not they allow you to move the resident. You can check by looking at the 2 long sides of the mattress.
On most mattresses (with evacuation bases) there will be a tab to pull in the case of an emergency. When purchasing a new mattress, it is recommended to look for a mattress with evacuation straps built into the base, as some do not host their evacuation handles within the product itself, causing you to be less efficient during the emergency.
During the loan of one of our OSKA™ Series5-V4 mattresses to THE FED, a fire broke out on site. We received this extremely important feedback when the pressure care mattress was returned.
"...it was excellent!”
Thanks for the loan of the Series5 mattress that had the fire evacuation base. We, unfortunately, had a fire on site one Sunday and the lady who was using the mattress was able to be taken off the bed easily and moved into the lounge area very safely, so it was excellent!”
It is a feature that we hope you never have to use in your care home but one that if you have, can help save the reputation of your home but most of all keep your residents safe.