In any residential care home, fire is a major concern. This is especially when dealing with residents and guests who suffer from cognitive disorders such as dementia.
Over the years there have been a number of fires in homes resulting in loss of life. From the March 2006 NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) report, conducted on US nursing homes, it was revealed that there were 4,130 fires in nursing homes in 2002, almost equal to the 4,190 that occurred the year before. About 40% of the 2002 fires were cooking-related (14% clothes dryer or washer, 9% heating equipment, 7% smoking materials, 6% electrical). Fire safety is clearly a serious concern.
St Georges Nursing Home takes the safety of our residents, guests and staff very seriously and we have invested over £80,000 in having a sprinkler system installed. There is no legal requirement to have such a system and should it ever become mandatory, it would be extremely difficult for other homes as systems would need to be retrofitted. With St Georges Nursing Home being a purpose built home, we have been able to design a safe environment from the beginning.
Each room has at least one sprinkler head. The sprinkler is activated by detecting a sudden rise in temperature that occurs in a fire, resulting in a spray of water over the area, extinguishing the fire before it can take hold. Only the sprinkler heads in the affected area activate, meaning that residents in other areas would not be affected. Our water supply, for our sprinkler system, is kept in an outside reservoir.
In addition to our sprinkler system, we have other fire safety measures in place including fire proof doors, fire safety zones and a state of the art fire detection system. We all must play our part in fire safety which is why the home and the central garden are non-smoking areas.
No resident has ever died in a home with such a system which is why we are placing such a high value on our own safety measures.