In September of 2012, the London Fire Brigade released a report indicating that in 2011 approximately one person receiving social care per month died from a fire-related accident. The Brigade decided to be proactive and work with government officials and non-profit groups to decrease these fatalities by providing more up to date advice on fire safety.
Of all 119 accidental fire deaths in London in 2011, 36 of those that perished accessed some form of assisted care services. Interestingly, the 2011 fire deaths show obvious trends. Of the 119 deaths, 14 were known drinkers, 33 were smokers, and over half had mental health issues. Based on the information garnered from the 2011 fire deaths, the London Fire Brigade issued advice for warning signs and indicators that would help care workers understand which care recipients could be at risk for fire hazards. This up to date advice is published by Skills for Care which is dedicated to improving the social care services workforce.
Due to the large number of care recipients that passed in 2011 fires, care workers in England will receive extra information and advice that could potentially help save lives. Ideally, the new guidelines could help to meet the Brigade’s goal of a 30% reduction in accidental fire deaths.
The care services staff works with recipients that have mental issues, mobility impairments, and more. Yet, according to the 2011 study by the London Fire Brigade, these individuals have the highest risk of accidental fire fatality. With the correct and appropriate fire safety training, care workers can help to identify and protect the high-risk individuals.
Apart from fire safety standards, it is imperative for care workers to be appropriately trained for many safety situations. Due to their exposure with high-risk individuals and their steady relationships, at times, care workers can be the most effective front line of defense for ensuring the safety and livelihood of care recipients.
The Care Quality Commission requires fire safety training for all care workers within the first 12 weeks of employment. These induction standards have a fire safety component to them. There are several different safety training options for care workers in England. Additionally, there are specialised organizations that can provide specialised training that targets specific work environments. Once care workers have found an appropriate training program, it is important to verify that the program meets the requirements as set forth by the Care Quality Commission.
Care workers may often be the only line of defense for indigent, elderly, disabled, or impaired care recipients. In some cases, the recipients of the care services are left without family or close companions. In these situations, it is extremely important for care service providers to monitor their safety and raise awareness of potentially hazardous conditions.