Posted: 21 August 2017
Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower two months ago the Care Quality Commission wrote to all care providers to encourage them to review their fire safety measures. Fire safety is one of the most important issues within the care sector. Poor fire safety management can and does lead to injury and fatalities.
Although the tragedy at Grenfell put the issues of fire safety to the front of everyone’s minds, it’s important that we maintain awareness of fire safety consistently in our sector.
David Coleman of Arden Fire Health and Safety, who is one of our Endorsed Providers, gives us a few timely reminders and helpful tips:
- Check that your fire risk assessment is current (completed or reviewed in the last 12 months or sooner if required)
- Who carried out the fire assessment and were thy competent to do so – Competency is defined as knowledge, training and experience
- Do assessors check all areas of the building including loft areas, above false ceilings, boiler rooms etc. and not just the easy to reach parts such as offices?
- Do assessors look for evidence of staff fire training, drills and evacuation plans?
- Do assessors look for evidence that you are servicing, maintaining and checking your fire safety measures as required?
- Are you controlling day to day issues such as regular checking of fire alarms, emergency lighting escape routes, fire exits, fire drills etc. and are you keeping records. It is essential that you can evidence that you are managing fire safety. Carrying out theses checks and keeping records will help demonstrate to enforcing bodies, particularly CQC and the fire service, that you are aware of your responsibilities and are taking fire safety seriously.
- By managing fire safety properly you will help reassure residents and their families that you have their welfare at the forefront of your business and your staff will feel that you care about them too.
- Fire risk assessments, training and fire safety management are your responsibility and are not just a tick box exercise so make sure your fire risk assessors deliver a high quality service, you train your staff and you manage fire safety effectively.
- There are currently two independent fire risk assessor schemes which scrutinise the quality of assessors. They are the BAFE SP205 (Life Fire Risk Assessor) scheme and the FRACS (Fire Risk Assessors Certificate scheme) .
CQC have stated "We will continue to assess fire safety when we register and inspect providers, focusing on passive and active fire protection and on how fire safety is managed on a day to day basis."
If you feel that as a social care organisation you would benefit from fire safety training, please visit our directory which lists all of the training providers who we have endorsed as the best. Visit our webpage now at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/findaprovider
You can also find out more information about Arden Fire Health and Safety on their website: www.ardensafety.co.uk