Serious care home failures in London

February 15, 2019

London Fire Brigade (LFB) recently reported that it has found fire safety failures in over half of the care homes during a recent audit.

Care homes have complex issues, as people age, their bodies and minds inevitably change. The risk of developing mental and physical health conditions increases and these make elderly people more vulnerable to fire.

In their release, the LFB stated that ‘serious’ failures were found in homes across London by its inspectors, with 177 homes visited to ‘gauge’ the level of fire risk across the city. This ‘one-off’ series of ‘in-depth’ inspections found that one in three premises had ‘inadequate or poorly maintained fire doors’, while there was also ‘widespread’ confusion about fire evacuation strategies. In turn, fire risk assessments (FRAs) were being carried out by people ‘without the proper skills and experience’.

The LFB is ‘so concerned’ that it has written to every care home in London ‘demanding’ that they ‘urgently review’ (FRA’s) and fire safety measures. This was triggered by a recent care home fire in Hertfordshire that left 2 dead and 33 rescued as reported by the BBC:

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.  A fundamental part of workplace fire safety is the building’s (FRA). This 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”

Owners need to urgently review their fire risk assessments and ensure their staff are correctly trained and records kept up to date. Completing records provides discipline and are essential for keeping on top of fire safety requirements as it allows you to highlight, address and rectify issues.

Using technology, owners or competent members of staff can log issues in seconds and proactively monitor key tasks and checks. Care home owners and any relevant fire professionals can be notified of this or any other fire safety issue immediately, allowing remedial action to be initiated straight away.

To learn how to simplify fire safety in care homes visit and start your free trial of our fire safety management tool.