DSEAR: what employers need to know
London Fire Brigade published figures earlier this month that revealed more than half of London’s care homes had failed their safety checks.
Inspections of 177 of the capital’s care homes found that one third have poorly maintained fire doors, fire risk assessments were being carried out by people without the necessary experience and there was widespread confusion regarding evacuation strategies.
Fire risk assessments and evacuation strategies are vital to the safe running of care homes. Not only are they legal must-haves, but they’re essential to keeping your residents, your employees and your care service safe. To help you get to grips with your responsibilities, we’ll talk you through the six steps you need to follow.
First things first, you and your assessor should discuss and decide who’s responsible for your overall fire safety.
Ideally, you will be the person who’ll fundamentally implement any recommended actions from the fire risk assessment itself. In some instances, this might be a company or managing agent rather than an individual.
You should take a look at potential sources of ignition, combustible materials and structural features.
Identifying potential sources of ignition includes looking at things like whether smoking is permitted, if hot surfaces are present, or whether there is a risk of static electricity.
The combustible materials and structural features side involves looking into things like:
Once you’ve identified fire hazards, you should recognise who could be at risk. To do this, you should work your way through questions like:
You’ll then need to create a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan for each resident, which you can find more information on here.
There are three elements to this stage: fire detection and warning, means of escape and provision of fire-fighting equipment. Here’s a flavour of what you should go through in each:
|Fire detection and warning|
|Means of escape|
|Provision of fire-fighting equipment|
When it comes to training and your emergency plans, a sample of the things you need to consider include:
Fire risk assessments are living documents and should be reviewed either annually or after:
Here at Citation, we understand the time and resource constraints you face every single day. We hope our support is already making your life easier, but we’re always looking at ways we can further help you.
That’s why one of our competent and qualified fire risk assessors can visit your premises to support you, giving you the security of knowing that 100% of your fire risk assessments are peer-audited by our internal team for quality assurance.
For more information on our Health & Safety Support or Fire Risk Assessment service please fill out the form to get in touch.
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