New fire guidelines ‘restrict residents’

Fire safety checks are preventing care home residents doing
everyday tasks and are stifling their independence, it has been

The criticism follows recommendations arising from the Rosepark
care home fire in Lanarkshire in January when 14 residents

Amanda Hepburn, manager of Day Break House, a residential home for
recovering mental health service users in Edinburgh, said fire
brigade recommendations to lock the kitchen, laundry room and store
cupboards restricted residents in their daily living.

A spokesperson from the Scottish executive – which ordered the
safety checks – said the “reassurance visits” by fire brigades were
intended to draw attention to potential fire hazards and to provide
advice on how to improve individual care homes.

“A balance needs to be struck between promoting fire safety and
protecting quality of life for residents,” he said.

A spokesperson from the Care Commission said, although no new fire
safety regulations had been put in place, the visits were
recommended best practice to care providers.

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