Fire Safety

OUTCOME

Children live in homes that provide physical safety and security.


Contents

  1. Responsibility and Recording
  2. Fire Risk Assessment
  3. Precautions
  4. Induction
  5. Fire Procedures
  6. Fire Drills
  7. Routine Inspections and Checks


1. Responsibility and Recording

Home's Managers have overall responsibility for fire safety in their homes and for ensuring that all facilities, including alarms and extinguishers are in good order. They are also responsible for ensuring fire drills are carried out and checks made in accordance with these procedures.

However, the Designated Manager (Fire Safety) has overall responsibility for Fire Safety and any persistent or serious problems or defects must be reported to this Designated Manager.

All inspections, checks, defects and repairs must be recorded in the Fire Safety Log, and checked/signed by the Home's Manager and others, as set out in Section 7, Routine Inspections and Checks.


2. Fire Risk Assessment

The Fire Risk Assessment is generally reviewed every twelve months; this may be sooner in the event of any significant operational or environmental changes to the building, staffing, and/or residents i.e. age, behavioural risk.

Fire Risk Assessment must always be available for inspection by outside agencies.

The Fire Risk Assessment must be brought to the attention, and be available to all staff, including new (or temporary staff) as part of Induction.

Any amendments or revisions must be shared with all staff without delay.


3. Precautions

Staff have a general responsibility to be vigilant at all times during their shift and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the safety of Children and colleagues is not compromised.

No Child is to be allowed matches or a lighter unless deemed to be responsible by the Manager of The Home.

Smoking will only take place in the designated area, see Smoking and Alcohol Procedures.

Candles, other than those used decoratively on cakes, must not be allowed on to the property and must never be used, even in a power cut.

The safety of the children and young people in the Home is the responsibility of all members of staff and they are expected to supervise all young people living in the Home. They are expected to be familiar with the Home's emergency procedures and to follow these policies into practice.

  • Fire doors must not be fastened open at night and must never be obstructed;
  • Fire Extinguishers will be serviced annually by Thorn Security and/or Fire Service. If any staff suspect that extinguishers or any other Safety equipment has been tampered with relevant body will be carry out an inspection;
  • The weekly testing of the fire alarm system will be carried out every Monday following the procedure located in the main office. The fire panel instructions should also be followed;
  • Two different call points should be used every time the fire alarm system is tested;
  • Copy or records of the equipment inspection will be kept in the main office in the Home;
  • Young people bringing portable electrical equipment onto the premises will be required to have the item tested for electrical safety before it can be used in the Home, unless it is a new and unused item.

All Homes must have torches in case of power failure.

Barbecues or campfires are never to be left unsupervised and never to be lit using petrol or other inflammable liquids (other than BBQ lighter used in the recommended manner).

No campfire or barbecue shall be left to burn out. It must be extinguished with water after use.

All vehicles are to carry a fire extinguisher.


4. Induction

4.1 Staff

On the first day of employment in the Home all new or temporary staff (including agency staff) will have explained in detail Fire Drill Procedures and they will be walked through the key escape routes and directed to assembly points. In addition a copy of these procedures will be given to new staff to be read.

Within the first 24 hours of employment they will have been fully briefed and have taken part in a fire drill and evacuation.

4.2 Children

On the first day of admission each young person will have the Fire Drill procedure explained to them and they will be walked through the key escape routes and shown the assembly point. The young person will additionally be advised of the risks involved when fire occurs and the dangers associated with false alarms and tampering with fire equipment.

Within the first 24 hours they will have taken part in a fire drill and evacuation.

4.3 Visitors to the Premises

Managers must ensure that the visitor's book is kept in a consistent location which is known to all staff and visitors. In the event of fire this must be removed from the building and used for the roll call.


5. Fire Procedures

All Children must be made aware of the Fire Procedures and escape routes upon admission.

On hearing the alarm all children and young people, visitors, off duty and duty staff must vacate the building as quickly as possible ensuring that all doors are closed behind them.

  1. The senior member of staff on duty is responsible for ensuring that people who do not hear or are ignoring the alarm leave the premises promptly. However, staff must not put themselves at risk to ensure they do so;
  2. The senior member of staff will be responsible for determining which part of the building is affected by checking alarm panel display as they vacate the building (if safe to do so). The senior member of staff must determine the next course of events, either to telephone the Fire Service or continue to determine if there is a fire. If there is any doubt as to the situation the Fire Service should be called;
  3. The senior member of staff is responsible for ensuring that the children and young people and visitors are at the designated assembly point and someone has undertaken a role call using the daily log and visitor's book.

If it becomes apparent that someone is missing, immediately perform a recount and then try to establish where the missing person might be. This information should be passed to the Fire Service by telephone if they are on route;

  1. Send a responsible person to meet the Fire engine, at the gate/drive or nearest junction (if appropriate) ensuring they are aware of any missing person and their possible location, instruct them to pass this information on as a priority;
  2. Fire extinguishers are provided at key points/locations to help people exit the building in an emergency, No attempt to fight the fire should be made, unless you are confident that you can quickly and safely extinguish it using the equipment provided. Only staff that have received appropriate training which includes the operation and discharge a Fire extinguisher should attempt to use this equipment;
  3. If there are no obvious signs of fire the senior member of staff will recheck the Fire alarm panel to confirm which zone triggered the alarm, (please note resetting the alarm is not the priority at this time, although staff may consider muting the sounders if this will aid communication) a member of staff (accompanied by a colleague if possible) will go to the zone identified in search of the call point or the detector which had been activated. If no fire is found the alarm system can be reset. If a fire is found they must leave immediately and call the Fire Service;
  4. Children and Young People must respond appropriately to the Fire Alarm or drills, any wilful failure to do so must be brought to the immediate attention of the Home's Manager, the Child's Social Worker and their family; without delay. Details of action taken must be maintained with the record of the drill. Any re-occurrence of behaviour will result in an emergency meeting being held to discuss how the matter can be resolved; the Fire Risk assessment will need to be reviewed without delay. Repeated refusal to cooperate with fire drill may result in the child or young person's placement being closed;
  5. On no account should children and young people or unauthorised staff re-enter the building until confirmation is given by the senior person in charge that there is no risk of fire;
  6. The senior member of staff will be responsible for maintaining all related recordings in the Fire Safety Log.

If the emergency services are called to the home, the Social Worker for Children placed should be notified; it will also be necessary to notify the Regulatory Authority - see Notification of Serious Events Procedure.


6. Fire Drills

The often complex needs and behaviour of the children and young people we look after requires additional consideration when we are managing safety procedures. Fire drills must be implemented with care in order to prevent any disturbance of day to day routines and also to avoid any desensitisation to the importance of the alarm. Fire Drills are an integral part of The Home's Emergency procedure; at least four fire drills, (which including evacuation of all staff and children from the building), must take place within a 12 month period (or more frequently as dictated by risk assessment). A percentage of the fire drills must take place at night (after bedtime).

Fire drills should be timed (where appropriate) so that newly admitted children and young people can become familiar with the procedure.

Additional Fire Drills must be carried out as part of the admission procedure for a young person, or as part of the induction process for new members of staff.

It is essential that staff and children distinguish Fire Drills from the Alarm/Bell test.

Normally, advance warning should be given of the approximate timing of the fire drill, as the main purpose of having the drill is to ensure that all persons participating are familiar with the correct procedure to be followed. Particular emphasis should be placed on staff training and reviewing the effectiveness of the established procedures.

Where the alarm system operates either as a result of a fire or a false alarm, the resulting evacuation of the building must be recorded in the appropriate section of the record book and indicated as such as afire or as false alarm.

All details to be recorded in the Fire Safety Log.


7. Routine Inspections and Checks

Every Night:

By a senior member of staff on duty.

Recorded in the Fire Safety Log and reported to the Home Manager if any defects are found.

Fire Extinguishers A visual check that the extinguishers are in place and that the pressure gauges are green.
Escape Routes A visual check that all doors which should self close are closed, those held open by automatic devices are open, that no external exits are locked from the inside, and that no equipment has been moved or stored so as to seriously affect an escape route.
Alarm system Visual check the display to ensure it is operating.
Fire Extinguishers Visually check all fire extinguishers and report faults to the Manager as soon as practicable


Daily Checks:

By a senior member of staff.

Recorded in the Fire Safety Log and reported to the Home Manager if any defects are found.

Emergency lighting To confirm that the indicator lamps on all emergency light fittings are illuminated and that all fittings are clean and undamaged. Also check the Fire Alarm Panel daily and ensure that no fault indicators are illuminated
Fire Alarm Panel Ensure that no fault indicators are illuminated
Fire Notices Ensure that all Fire Notices and posters are located appropriately.


Weekly Checks:

By the Home's Manager or a suitably experienced member of staff.

Recorded in the Fire Safety Log and reported to the Home Manager if any defects are found.

Operate Fire System

Review the Fire Safety Log and ensure that all defects are followed up and repaired; sign and date the log.

Via a manual call point (a different call point should be used each week). Check that all sounders are operating correctly including bedhead sounders where applicable.

If applicable check that all hold open door magnets close and, that all hold closed doors can be opened on sounding of the alarm.

Check that all flashing beacons operate.

Fire Extinguishers Visual check should be made for tampering and changing pressure. On an annual basis a qualified maintenance engineer should check the equipment. Annual checks are to be recorded both on the appliance.


Monthly Checks:

By the Home's Manager or a suitably experienced member of staff and by the person undertaking Regulation 44 Visits.

Recorded in the Fire Safety Log and reported to the Home Manager if any defects are found.

By the Manager/Designated Person, detailed check of the fire safety system

Review the Fire Safety Log and ensure that all defects are followed up and repaired; sign and date the log.

Switch off the power supply to all emergency light fittings at the relevant key switch or circuit breaker and check that the lights remain illuminated for a 15 minute period, operating on their internal batteries. Once satisfied that all lighting is functioning correctly over this period, restore the power and ensure that the indicator lamp is again illuminated on each fitting.

By the person undertaking Regulation 44 Visits. Ensure that Fire Notices are present in the Home, any defects to be reported as part of the monthly reporting mechanism and also recorded in the Fire Safety Log.


Every Six Months:

There are two sets of checks that must be made, some by the Home's Manager or a suitably experienced member of staff, and some by a Fire Safety Engineer.

Recorded in the Fire Safety Log and reported to the Home Manager if any defects are found.

By the Home's Manager or a suitably experienced member of staff Detailed check of the fire safety system

Review the Fire Safety Log and ensure that all defects are followed up and repaired; sign and date the log.

Switch of power supply to all emergency light fittings at the relevant key switch or circuit breaker and check that the lights remain illuminated for a 1 hour period, operating on their internal batteries. Once satisfied that the lighting is functioning correctly over this period, restore the power and ensure that the indicator lamp is again illuminated on each fitting.

By a Fire Safety Engineer

Operate a minimum 50% of all automatic detectors and manual call points and check 100% of sounders and door open/close contacts.

The Engineer to sign and date weekly/bi-annual/annual log to confirm the above tests have been carried out.


Every 12 Months:

By a Fire Safety Engineer.

Recorded in the Fire Safety Log and reported to the Home Manager if any defects are found.

Undertake Annual Check

Review the Fire Safety Log and ensure that all defects are followed up and repaired; sign and date the log.

For example, switch of power supply to all emergency light fittings at the relevant key switch or circuit breaker and check that the lights remain illuminated for a 3 hour period, operating on their internal batteries. Once satisfied that the lighting is functioning correctly over this period, restore the power and ensure that the indicator lamp is again illuminated on each fitting.

Carry out a 100% check of all manual call points, automatic detectors, sounders and door open/closed contacts.

Check batteries at panel and record readings on certificate.

Sign and date weekly/bi-annual/annual log to confirm the above tests have been carried out.

The Engineer to label batteries with readings, label panel with test date and issue certificate of compliance.