In today's blog, DB Fire Safety Ltd. would like to bring you up-to-date in respect of how the law affects residents who want to smoke in residential care homes. As may already know, it is an individual's right to continue to smoke when in care.
According to the law, residential care homes are exempt from the smoke-free legislation. Although it is not a legal requirement, designated indoor smoking rooms and/or bedrooms can be made available for use by those residents wishing to smoke indoors. It is, however, not a legal requirement to provide a bedroom.
If a residential care home designates such a smoking room, the following requirements must be met.
- The manager/owner has to designate a room where smoking is permitted.
- The room must be completely enclosed apart, of course, from the doors and windows.
- The ventilation of the room should preferably be outside of the care home or to other designated 'smoking rooms' which have external ventilation.
- The doors must close either mechanically or with closers to prevent smoke drifting to smoke free rooms or corridors.
- The room should be clearly marked as a room where smoking is permitted.
There does, however, remain a ban on staff smoking within the Care Home and, therefore, a suitable outdoor area should be designated for staff and any visitors, wishing to smoke.
Fire risk assessments take precedence over the rights of a smoker and a risk assessment will have to be taken to ensure the safety of all the residents, care workers and visitors.
If you are unsure of the legislation, then please feel free to contact Peterborough-basedDB Fire Safety Limited to arrange a free consultation - call 0800 772 0559