Falling number of firefighter call-outs to West Sussex care homes

WSFRS engaging with the business community (photo submitted). SUS-150925-120358001

WSFRS engaging with the business community (photo submitted). SUS-150925-120358001

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Fire safety officers from West Sussex are hosting a series of free safety seminars to help care home managers and owners protect themselves, their staff and vulnerable customers from fire.

Carrying out fire risk assessments, reducing false alarms and improving business continuity are just some of the topics on the agenda at the special events which are taking place across the county over the next two months.

The information and advice seminars, planned in partnership with the Care Quality Commission and West Sussex County Council is part of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to working closely with the business community to reduce the number and impact of fires and emergency incidents in commercial premises.

Over the last three years fire calls to care homes have been gradually falling.

Between April 1 2012 and March 31 2013 firefighters attended 54 calls at residential homes, 42 of which were false alarms.

Last year (April 1 2014 to March 31 2015) that figure fell to 43, 37 of which were false alarms.

Richard Bradley, business engagement officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “One of the key areas we’ll be covering is risk assessments. We know from incidents here in West Sussex and nationally that care home residents who smoke add greatly to the risk of a fire starting. Care home managers and owners need to take into account the individuals in their care and tailor their risk assessments accordingly.

“As fire safety officers education and engagement is always our preferred first approach. We don’t want care homes or any other business to fall foul of fire safety laws so these seminars are an ideal opportunity to support care providers in better understanding their responsibilities particularly with regards to protecting their most vulnerable residents.”

The dates and locations of the seminars are:

Wednesday September 30 – Roffey Millennium Hall, Horsham

Thursday October 1 – Boxgrove Village Hall, Chichester

Tuesday October 6 – Rugby Club, Worthing

Wednesday October 7 – Charis Centre, Crawley

Tuesday November 3 – Community Village Hall, Billingshurst

For more information or to book a place on one of the seminars phone 0330 222 3333 or email businessfiresafety@westsussex.gov.uk

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