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Monday 24th October 2016

Basic fire safety failures at care homes

20th July 2011

A number of care homes in London have failed basic fire safety standards, it has been revealed.

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With 29 not reaching the required standards since 2010, the London Fire Brigade has now issued each with a legal Enforcement Order, compelling them to make changes.

After hospitals, care homes are considered to present the single greatest risk to life of any public buildings with many residents often being elderly, fragile or mentally ill.

Among the problems highlighted at the homes were no fire escape plans, no training for staff and no marked fire exits.

Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones said: “It is quite horrifying. In care homes you have some of the most vulnerable people in society - people who can't move around quickly. It's crucial those homes have good fire safety procedures.

“This sort of thing should be absolutely basic at places with residents who are not quick on their feet. Fire safety plans, staff training and emergency exits have to be up to date.”

There are 1,976 care homes in London and 663 have been checked since 2010 with enforcement action taken at 4% of those. The remaining 1,313 homes may not have been checked for several years.

Ms Jones said there was a strong argument for fire checks to be carried out more frequently than every four years.

Steve Turek, assistant commissioner for the London Fire Brigade, said: “It's important for owners of care homes to take their responsibilities seriously. We don't issue Enforcement Notices lightly.”


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