A report released to support this year’s Fire Door Safety Week highlights a worrying lack of fire safety awareness in care homes up and down the country. The study which canvassed 1,000 current and former care home employees focused on fire safety procedures, knowledge and standards.
Key findings of the report include:
Nearly half of the respondents (47%) didn’t understand the role fire doors play in containing a fire.
Three in five workers had reason to report fire safety concerns to employers with more than half (51%) saying remediation work was carried out unsatisfactorily.
Eight out of ten workers (82%) admitted to keeping fire doors open – completely defeating their purpose.
One in five workers believed that the gap between the fire door and frame didn’t matter.
72% of care home workers had witnessed fire doors being tampered with, including the removal of the automatic door closer to make them easier to open.
One in five workers also believed painting a regular door in flame retardant paint turned them into fire doors.
The above findings highlight a worrying lack of knowledge amongst care home workers about the importance of fire safety in care homes. Many care homes have sophisticated evacuation strategies in the event of a fire to allow residents with disabilities to evacuate the building safely. But for these strategies to work effectively fire doors must be installed and maintained correctly.
Fire doors are designed to withstand fire for a minimum of 30 minutes. To highlight the importance of this, care home workers were asked how long it would take to evacuate residents from the facility if a fire broke out. Most employees said it would take an average of 25 minutes, with a little over a third saying it would take more than 30 minutes. That means properly fitted and maintained fire doors are critical to saving lives.
Care home managers, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure residents are kept safe by ensuring all fire doors comply with the latest fire safety standards. The best way to do this is to carry out an up to date fire risk assessment which examines all fire doors and ensures effective evacuation procedures are in place.
This report also highlights care home workers worrying lack knowledge about fire door safety. So it is vital front line employees are educated on the vital role fire doors play in helping to reduce the spread of fire. This tool kit contains information which could be useful for educating both staff and residents.
RW Joinery is one of the leading manufacturers of fire doors in the UK. All our fire door sets are designed to meet strict fire safety regulations for both care homes and homes of multiple occupation (HMO). If you would like more information about our high-performance fire doors please get in touch with us here.