carehome.co.uk, the leading care home reviews site, is calling on the Government to make it mandatory for all new build and converted care homes in England to have sprinkler systems, in the wake of the Grenfell fire.
In Scotland and Wales, all new and converted care homes have to have sprinkler systems. However in England, there is no such legislation.
Davina Ludlow, chair of carehome.co.uk, said:
“The Grenfell Tower fire was an absolute tragedy and this terrible incident must serve as a wake-up call.
“As a sector, we support hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people. Many people in care homes have mobility, vision and hearing problems, with some of them bed-bound and evacuating them in the event of a fire is hugely challenging.
“This is why we want all new and converted care homes in England to have the same fire safety standards as Wales and Scotland. Sprinkler systems reduce the risk to lives and property so this needs to be made mandatory immediately.
“The CQC this week wrote to care home providers requesting that they re-examine fire safety checks that take place within each of their buildings and we fully back the regulator.
“We need to learn lessons from the terrible tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and ensure nothing like this happens again. Why is England lagging behind when this legislation will go a long way to saving lives.”
London Fire Brigade released figures in March this year showing there are 10 fires a week in care homes in the capital, equating to 520 fires in care homes annually.
Statistics from the London Fire Brigade between 2008 and 2014, show there were a total of 18 deaths and 228 injuries caused by fires in care homes and sheltered accommodation in London.
The London Fire Brigade has been calling for sprinklers in care homes for some time with its Assistant Commissioner for Fire safety, Dan Daly, saying:
"There are around ten fires in London's care homes every week which should be evidence enough that builders, developers, local authorities and housing and care providers need to stop ignoring their benefits."
Government statistics show that over half of people who die in accidental fires in the UK annually are aged 65 and over.