After the recent BBC investigation about London care homes not meeting fire safety regulations there has been an important court ruling that will hopefully change the behavior of care home owners and increase the safety of the residents.
The issue regarding resident bedroom doors, which must be fitted with self closing fire doors, and the risk of these fire doors being wedged open in an illegal manner was addressed. Fire doors are generally heavy and when fitted with a self closing device very hard for an elderly person to open. In the case of care homes fitting bedroom doors with these devices will restrict the mobility and independence of residents. The fear was that care home owners will then wedge the doors open to allow residents to freely move in and out of their bedrooms. This practice is illegal and the judicial ruling now stipulates that self-closing fire doors must be fitted with a device that will hold the door open and which releases the door when a fire alarm is triggered, allowing the fire door to be closed with the door closer to prevent the spread of fire.
This is ruling is paramount in ensuring the safety of vulnerable residents. The solution to this new ruling need not result in having a new system wired into the premises but can be resolved with wireless devices such as Dorgard or Freedor. Both devices are wireless and can be fitted retrospectively to fire doors without the need of an electrician.
The Dorgard can be fitted to any door with a self closing device and will hold the door open until the fire alarm sounds. At this point the door retainer will lift the plunger and the fire door will close. The Freedor works in a similar way but it acts not only as a door holder but also as a door closer, incorporating the two devices in one. This device can hold the fire door open at any angle required and will then release and close the fire door on the sounding of the fire alarm.
Both fire door retainers have a night time closing feature and have adjustable sensitivity. As the Dorgard and Freedor are both wireless products they can be fitted by a handy man rather than a costly electrician. The Dorgard has a 5 year warranty, which is only available from Safelincs Ltd.
For more information on fire door retainers and door holders please visit our website https://www.safelincs.co.uk/dorgard-and-other-fire-door-retainers/
More information about the judicial ruling can be found at http://www.cpbsonline.eu/pressrelease/pressrelease.aspx?companyname=Fireco&title=Court+Makes+Important+Care+Home+Fire+Safety+Ruling
The owner of a London hotel, the Averard in Bayswater, has been ordered to pay more than £21,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to fire safety breaches.
After an inspection, that took place in April 2009, failings in the fire detection and alarm systems were evident, as well as a lack of external means of escape and fire door provision.
Although a fire risk assessment had been carried out in 2008 detailing failings in a number of areas no remedial actions were implemented.
It is a legal obligation for Hotel owners to carry out and act on the findings of a fire risk assessment.
On November 25 2009 New Look, a well known high street retailer, was fined £400,000 plus costs due to a number of breaches of the fire safety legislation as a result of a serious fire at its Oxford Street store, London in August 2007.
New Look were found guilty of having an inadequate fire risk assessment, which was found to fail in a number of areas. These included lack of records of actions to be taken in the event of a fire alarm. Other breaches included lack of staff fire safety training resulting in a delayed evacuation of the public from the building.
A total of thirty five fire engines were present to tackle the blaze, with some crews maintaining some presence for three days. Part of the road had to be closed for two days. The extent of damage resulted in the store being demolished and the cause was never established.
This event should remind us all of our responsibilities to our employees and the general public to ensure their safety at all times whilst on the company premises. Thankfully this incident did not result in any casualties.
Do not be caught out, ensure that you are adhering to fire safety legislation.
A landlord has been sent to prison in the first custodial sentence to be given in London under the new fire safety regulations.
A London Landlord was sentenced to four months imprisonment and his company, was fined £21,000 following conviction for serious breaches of the regulatory reform order (RRO).
The prosecution followed a fatal fire at a flat in Tottenham on 16 September 2007. After being removed from the building by firefighters, a man was taken to hospital but died later from his injuries.
Councillor Brian Coleman AM FRSA, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority which runs the London Fire Brigade said “This fire resulted in a man dying and highlights why landlords and businesses must take their responsibilities under the regulatory reform order seriously. The London Fire Brigade works hard to bring irresponsible companies and individuals to court, which can as this case has shown result in a custodial sentence.