Central Bedfordshire Council
A success story from the start
“We’ve always been extremely satisfied with Fire Safety Services. The quality and competency of their work is outstanding and their knowledge of working onsite at a care facility is always impressive.
“The welfare of our centre users is of paramount importance and the fact that FSS technicians understand the intricate needs of the individual sites means we know we’re always in safe hands”
Stuart Bailey – Central Bedfordshire Council
The media are quick to pounce on local authority failings, especially where public safety is concerned. Care homes and other care providers are often under the spotlight because of the vulnerable people they protect.
Fire Safety Services works with many care providers across the UK. We ensure we only use technicians who’ve previously carried out fire safety maintenance in a care facility which means they have the skills, experience and sensitivity needed for such a unique environment. And our third-party accreditation gives all our customers total peace of mind.
A success story from the start
In 2016, Fire Safety Services was one of two companies invited by Central Bedfordshire Council to tender for a range of fire door upgrade works at several of their care sites. These included care homes for the elderly, as well as temporary and permanent care accommodation and daycare provision for adults with learning difficulties.
We were thrilled to be awarded the contract based on the high quality of our fire door inspection reports which we submitted to the Council having carried out a comprehensive survey.
Following the completion of the fire door upgrade works, our portfolio of sites increased (via the Council procurement process) to include Linsell House and Townsend Centre in Dunstable where we also oversaw a range of fire door upgrade works.
Townsend Centre also needed hold-open devices fitted to most of their doors. Centre manager, Trisha Clarke commented on the positive impact they had had to everyone at the centre, most of all the service users. “To get around Townsend Centre in a wheelchair is not easy. Moving from the common room to the lunch area, which most able-bodied people would take for granted, was difficult for those who were wholly reliant on staff to open doors for them.
“Centre users can now enjoy being independent and have the freedom to move around without assistance. It also reduces the risk of injury to anyone who is unsteady on their feet as the doors were very heavy to open. These specialist door holding devices have transformed everyone’s experience of a typical day here at Townsend Centre.”
Our expertise in care home fire safety
Care homes are unique environments and in the years that Fire Safety Services has been working in this sector, we’ve built up a wealth of knowledge to ensure every project we undertake goes smoothly. All our Technicians have been suitably trained in our site visit procedure so that they ensure integrity and professionalism at all times. Here are some examples displaying our expertise in care home fire safety:
- We develop close working relationships with the house or centre manager to minimise disruption. Anything that deviates from a normal routine can upset centre users who are extremely sensitive to change.
- We agree a schedule for the day so that staff can adjust daytime activities if necessary to avoid areas where we’re working.
- During the day, we encourage open and ongoing communication between staff and our technicians so activities can be adjusted as necessary.
- We display appropriate health and safety warning notices and cordon off high-risk areas so that users know and accept there will be unfamiliar people working in their environment. For this reason, we ensure continuity of personnel with specialist training and instruction to avoid possible distress to centre users.
- We are mindful that some centre users will be inquisitive and want to explore working areas or look more closely at equipment. Accordingly, all our technicians are fully trained on current Health & Safety regulations to prevent accidents.
- We are happy to work flexibly in our surroundings for the benefit of everyone. For example, at Linsell House, we set up a gazebo in the grounds and used this as a base for fire door upgrade works which were dusty or noisy. This helped to prevent potential upset and kept the inside of the centre as clean as possible.
What’s involved in fire door upgrade works?
Fire doors are an essential part of your building structure and crucial to the process of passive fire protection, where limiting the spread of fire and smoke can save lives, especially in an environment like a care home. If your fire doors are old or in disrepair, the responsible person in your organisation could be in breach of their obligations – and the law.
- Our reports identify the work needed on each door to make it legally compliant
- Our work is carried out in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2009 and the requirements of British Standards (BS9999)
- The report is logged in a database and asset register for future inspections
- Each door is labelled and given a number in the register for easy identification in the future
- A key benefit for the customer is that fire door upgrade works usually save them money on future replacement doors
Take care when working in a care home
A Care Home is a sensitive environment with elderly residents of varying abilities and many provide home to those with a range of disabilities and mental health issues such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Therefore, the role of a Fire Safety Technician holds great responsibility not only to ensure your fire safety equipment will operate correctly and efficiently when required, but also to work in a considerate manner around these vulnerable adults.
The press is constantly reporting on fire safety breaches and prosecutions due to non-compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and many Care Homes get caught out and hit with huge fines for breaches of fire safety regulations.
Don’t risk the safety or lives of your staff, residents and visitors. Fire Safety Services is third-party certificated in all areas of fire safety which means you can rest assured that you are kept fully compliant at all times.
For more information on fire safety advice in Care Homes or Care Home prosecution stories read our blog.
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