SSSC sanctions care worker who disabled fire alarms in a children’s home

A care worker has had conditions imposed on his registration after endangering care home residents

fire alarm
The social worker disabled fire alarms Photo: REX/Global Warming Images

A Scottish care worker who disabled fire alarms and locked fire exits in a children’s residential care home has been sanctioned by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

The Paisley care worker, who was working for Spark of Genius at the time of the incident, was found by the SSSC conduct panel to have “failed to ensure the safety of young people in his care” when he disabled an electronic fire notification system and locked external doors within the unit.

He disabled the system in a misguided attempt to calm service users who were becoming agitated by the noise of the alarm. In doing so, he placed service users at risk of serious harm, the panel said.

He was given a warning on his registration for a period of one year. During this time he will have conditions imposed on his continued registration with the SSSC, including attending a fire safety course and providing a reflective account of his training and how he has applied this learning to his practice.

The report of the panel’s decision said: “The social worker is required to demonstrate his knowledge and understanding of fire safety and safe caring, and how, in retrospect, he could have applied that learning in his role as a residential care worker to the incident.”

The panel found that he has shown remorse and insight into the potentially serious consequences of his actions, admitted his wrongdoing immediately and has cooperated with the SSSC. No service users were harmed, and there have been no practice issues since the incident took place in March 2012.

The sanctions come into effect from 4 September.

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