Should all care homes be fitted with sprinkler systems?

The London Fire Brigade has called for all care homes in the UK to be fitted with fire sprinkler systems, following figures that showed that there are over 10 fires a week in care homes and sheltered accommodation in London alone.
According to the Brigade’s records, there were a total 540 fires in care homes last year. 26 people were injured as a result of these incidents, and two people tragically lost their lives. The majority of UK care homes have fire alarms and smoke detectors, and staff who have undergone fire safety training, but most don’t have sprinkler systems installed.

Care operator Gracewell Healthcare has now backed the London Fire Brigade in its campaign to get these life-saving devices fitted in all UK care homes. However, the company’s chief executive Peter Curtis said that proper management and fire safety training are just as important, saying:

“Fire safety is about much more than just a state of the art sprinkler system. It’s about the preparedness of the staff and the plans put in place to act should the worst case ever transpire. Fire safety is all about prevention – ideally care home managers should be in control of the situation long before there is the need to activate a sprinkler system.”