Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Working to make care homes safer

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is working with care homes in the County to help them make sure they are as fire safe as possible.

The Service has written to every care home in the county offering advice and assistance on how they can plan for, and guard against, the risk of fire. Especially the risks posed by residents who might smoke or have candles in their rooms.

The warning follows a tragic death in a London care home last January which resulted in a prosecution for the care provider and recommendations from the coroner about appropriate levels of fire safety within care homes.

The letter gives care providers information on the best way to carry out risk assessments and recommends that individual assessments are made for individuals who smoke.

As well as sending the letter the Service is providing advice on the phone and arranging for officers to visit homes and help them carry out assessment and get reasonable measures in place to mitigate the risks they identify.

Divisional Officer Mark Earwicker said: “Care homes have a special responsibility to the look after their residents and we know that the homes in Essex take that responsibility seriously. We are here to help them make sure that they are taking all the measures they can to prevent and fires and fire deaths.

“We have taken the decision to write to homes following the coroner’s recommendations to help them get ahead of the game and make sure that they are all following best practice when it comes to fire safety.

“The best way to protect people from fire is to make sure that you have the measures in place to prevent fire or ensure that residents can be successfully evacuated if the worst happens and that is why we are proactively contacting and working with care homes.”

More information on fire safety for care homes and other public buildings can be found on our website at:

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