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Fire Safety - Laura Guntrip, Lester Aldridge

23/09/17. The danger presented by fire is well known but people may be surprised by just how many fires actually take place and, in particular, how many occur in care homes.

Care home fires are not a new phenomenon but the topic has been bought sharply to the forefront of our minds as a result of the recent media coverage of several such incidents. As a result of that coverage and tragedies such as Grenfell Tower, fire safety is not only at the forefront of our minds but also that of regulatory bodies.

Statistics published by London Fire Brigade in October 2016 show that in London alone, there were 120 care home fires in 2016 (an average of ten a month just in London). Care home fires are therefore not as rare as many may think.

Fires can highlight failures and inadequacies in risk assessments, evacuation procedures, staff training and staffing numbers. They can also highlight other issues such as inadequate fire detection or control systems or equipment.

Fires can be devastating and can spread quickly. Elderly people, particularly those with limited mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive impairments are, of course, at an even greater risk and rely upon care providers and staff to ensure their safety.

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