Guide to care home fire prevention this winter

17 November 2021

Care home fire safety is vital all year round but winter brings about some specific fire safety concerns that should be addressed. Here are some of our care home fire safety tips for winter.

Evacuation routes

Evacuation plans and routes are an essential part of care home fire prevention but extra considerations need to be thought about when winter arrives. For example, is snow build up likely to be a problem for wheelchair users or those using mobility scooters? Are escape routes adequately gritted to prevent slipping on ice? Are emergency exits in good working order despite the change in temperature?

Electric blankets

Electric blankets are a useful way of keeping elderly care home residents warm in the colder months. But they can be quite the fire hazard if not used correctly. Some warning signs that an electric blanket should not be used include:

  • scorch marks or discolouration areas visible on the fabric of the blanket
  • visible wires poking through the fabric
  • fabric is frayed or worn
  • there is damage to the electrical cord between the plug and the blanket’s control mechanism

Here are some tips for safely storing electric blankets when they’re not in use:

  • let the blanket cool down before folding
  • loosely fold or roll it in a towel or plastic bag and store the blanket in a cool dry place
  • do not use any moth-proofing chemicals
  • do not place heavy items on top of the blanket while it is being stored

Fire risk assessments

Fire risk assessments are vital components of commercial fire safety and care homes are no exception. As many care homes put up lights and decorations ahead of the festive season to bring some joy and cheer to residents and staff, up to date risk assessments may need to be carried out, to take into account any additional fire risks associated with the decorations. The risk assessment must highlight the fire safety risks at a premises and the measures in place to prevent or deal with a fire, along with any areas of improvement required.

care home fire prevention safety consultants 

Total Fire Group are BAFE Approved fire safety consultants who can help you with your care home fire safety this winter.

As part of your fire safety partnership with Total Fire Group, we will review your existing documentation and procedures before confirming if they provide the correct level of information and detail in order to be compliant. Additionally, we’ll assess your current risk levels and existing action and emergency plans so that we can then make recommendations on any further action you could take to improve your policies to assist you with a route to compliance this winter.

For more information on our fire safety consultancy, contact us at Total Fire Group.

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