Serious fire safety failures have been found in care homes across London by our Brigade inspectors.
There were 177 care homes visited to gauge the level of fire risk across the capital in a one-off series of in-depth inspections.
The Brigade’s findings included the following serious fire safety breaches:
One in three premises with inadequate or poorly maintained fire doors
Widespread confusion about fire evacuation strategies
Fire risk assessments being carried out by people without the proper skills and experience
Roofs being omitted from fire risk assessments (roof voids often increase the spread and severity of a fire)
Care home owners need to urgently review their fire risk assessments and ensure their staff knows how to safely evacuate their residents, especially those who are immobile.
“If you were placing your loved one into the care of others, you would expect them to be safe but for too many people, the very roof they are sleeping under could put them at risk.”
In 2017, two people died in a Cheshunt care home after a fire travelled through voids in the roof which allowed it to quickly engulf the entire building. Crews from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue and London Fire Brigade found residents in many rooms, many too frail too move themselves to safety. Miraculously, 33 residents were rescued. Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) stated that “It’s the responsibility of those in charge of running care homes to ensure the right fire protection measures are in place in order to keep people safe.