Safety review after car home tragedy

FIRE safety procedures in Suffolk care homes have been toughened up after 14 residents died in a blaze at a Scottish care home.Although staff say fire safety has always been a top priority, they are being extra cautious in the light of the recent tragedy.

FIRE safety procedures in Suffolk care homes have been toughened up after 14 residents died in a blaze at a Scottish care home.

Although staff say fire safety has always been a top priority, they are being extra cautious in the light of the recent tragedy.

Suffolk county council said the fire at Rosepark Care Home, in Uddingston, which claimed the lives of 14 elderly people earlier this year, has prompted them to review fire safety measures in all their homes.

A spokesman for the council said: "In the light of the fire in Scotland we have just run extra checks. We've been particularly mindful of the homes we have that are more than one-storey high.


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"We've had a thorough look at all our fire safety procedures to make sure they are as robust as they can be."

The safety of private care homes is overseen by the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) who, in the light of the Scottish tragedy, have warned care home providers to make sure they have the necessary fire precautions and procedures in place to prevent needless loss of life.

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Registered people operating care homes under the Care Home Regulations 2003 must deal directly with their local fire and rescue service to ensure equipment is maintained, fire drills are carried out, people can be safely evacuated and there are clear fire routes to escape.

The regulations also state the need to ensure staff are trained in fire prevention.

NCSC adult services director Heather Wing, said: "As care providers hold residents' lives in their hands it is essential they invest time and money in devising proper fire safety procedures and ensure all staff and managers recognise how critically important such processes are.

"The tragic case of 14 residents dying in a Scottish care home has highlighted how easy it is for fire and smoke to kill people quickly and needlessly.

"But simple checks and attention to fire precautions can ensure such accidents never happen and residents sleep easy at night.

"There is no excuse for cutting corners or being sloppy when it comes to protecting the safety of residents in care homes.

"We will use our range of powers to make sure care providers are fulfilling their duty to the people they care for and not put them at risk."

NCSC inspectors will check providers have contacted their fire and rescue service regarding safety precautions.

If not, they have the power to demand immediate improvements and report any problem directly with the local fire and rescue service.

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