New fire guidelines ‘restrict residents’

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

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

    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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