Fire Lands Care Home in The Dock

Firefighters discovered multiple fire safety breaches after attending a fire at a care home in Derbyshire.

On 29 May 2013, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) responded to an incident where a fire had broken out on the first floor of a care home for mentally ill and vulnerable people at Church Street in Ridings. By the time crews had arrived, residents had already been evacuated and firefighters entered the building to tackle the blaze, which originated from one of the residents’ bedrooms.

After the fire had been brought under control DFRS inspected the premises and found a number of fire safety failings. Fire doors were wedged open, self-closing door devices had been removed or were ineffective, some fire doors were ill-fitting and combustible furnishings were blocking escape routes.

DFRS area manager Steve McLernon explained that the incident could easily have proven fatal. He said: ‘If the fire had occurred a few hours later when the residents were asleep, the outcome could have been much worse

‘The means of escape were obstructed with furniture, some fire doors were damaged or ineffective and the escape lighting and fire alarm were not maintained. Investigations revealed that the care homes’ fire risk assessment had not been reviewed since 5 May 2012, which would have probably identified the deficiencies and the measures required to make the premises safe from fire.’

Midshires Healthcare Limited, the owners of a care home, appeared at Derby Magistrates’ Court on 19 February and pleaded guilty to four breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It was fined a total of £16,000 and ordered to pay £11,477 in costs.

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