Fire Safety in the Mental Health Care Environment
Over the past 20 years we have worked with a select number of clients, who provide and operate premises within the mental healthcare sector, who’s residents have ‘special needs’ which can affect the procedures when dealing with a fire emergency.
We have gained valuable experiences and knowledge during these years, which has helped us identify and resolve a number of unusual requirements, when considering the fire strategy for premises of this nature and who’s residents can be considered ‘highly dependent’ or ‘dependant’, when an emergency evacuation may be required in a fire situation. Our solutions have helped managers and staff overcome difficulties in ensuring their premises meet current standards of fire safety provisions and that procedures are suitable and sufficient.
Understanding Specific Needs
We appreciate and understand some of the specific requirements these vulnerable residents present, and the difficulty managers and staff experience in dealing with day to day issues. We also know and accept from a fire safety requirement, that a generic approach doesn’t always work in these situations. The reaction of staff in a fire emergency is critical in these types of environment and all the more the need for the fire safety provisions to be designed accordingly.
Unique and Adaptable Approach
We have a dedicated and highly experienced team of professionals who work alongside our clients to ensure their needs are met, we also understand some of the difficulties our clients experience in running these premises and caring for these type of residents. This is why a more flexible and adaptive approach is taken when setting the fire safety standards in ‘out of the norm’ environments. By setting ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ (ALARP) yet acceptable fire safety standards, we can usually offer an alternative solution if necessary. We understand and appreciate that every premise and occupancy are unique, and we plan the fire strategies, accordingly, using years of practical and technical knowledge and experience.
Other Licensing Requirements
We are aware of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) requirements as the and understand these premises could not operate without the satisfactory registration, to operate as a business in this sector.
As an organisation dealing with fire safety 24/7, we spend time in understanding the needs of the business, whilst taking care of the legal duties of our clients and to ensure their buildings are safe from fire.
Our technical and practical knowledge, over many years in dealing with a wide variety of occupancy and building types, allows us to consider a range of options when either designing a buildings fire strategy, or when considering ‘compensatory features’ to satisfy current fire safety requirements. Other advisors may not either be aware of, or do not possess the necessary experience and skills to advise on. This has also allowed us to use our skills in being creative, yet safe, when designing buildings fire strategies and also how and in particular which guidance documents we use to determine the fire safety standards in any given building, depending on the residents needs and how the staff and management of the building are trained, to act in the event of a fire.