Care Home Prosecuted For Fire Safety Failings
Vulcan Fire Training Co Ltd
Risk Assessments, safety training, fire extinguishers
The issue of proper fire safety training for care home staff hit the headlines again when a care home operator was fined £45,000 after London Fire Brigade discovered major failings at its site in Croydon.
Fire safety inspecting officers from the Brigade visited Morven House on Uplands Road in Kenley in February 2013, after concerns were raised by the Care Quality Commission.
Officers found blocked fire escape routes on the ground floor, an inaccessible external staircase on the second floor and a blocked external staircase from the first floor.
While some of the problems were temporary and caused by materials and scaffolding used for building work, the blocked escape routes would have seriously hampered any attempt to evacuate residents, who included elderly people with dementia and disabilities, in the event of a fire.
Inspectors also found the care home lacked an emergency plan, did not have an up to date fire risk assessment and that its fire detection system was inadequate.
At a hearing at Croydon Crown Court on May 28th 2014, care home operator Morven Healthcare Ltd pleaded guilty to five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and was fined a total of £45,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,488.
London Fire Brigade’s Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter described the safety failings found at Morven House as “truly shocking”.
She added: “Building owners have a clear responsibility under fire safety laws to ensure that people living in their premises are safe from the risk of fire and if we find people are ignoring those responsibilities, we won’t hesitate to prosecute.
“The sentence handed down in this case should serve as a stark warning that the courts take these matters just as seriously as we do.”
Vulcan Fire Training runs a number of training courses tailored specifically to the needs of the care sector, including a Fire Risk Assessor course aimed at home and area managers, and a Fire Warden course suitable for all staff.
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