Evacuation for Care Homes
Emergency preparedness is crucial for care homes. Recently, building managers at care homes have been criticised for failing to ensure that all residents can escape safely in the event of an emergency evacuation. As the nominated responsible person for emergency planning in your care home, you must ensure that all mobility-restricted residents and visitors will have access to evacuation chairs and evacuation mattresses in order to vacate safely.
In a care home, there will be more mobility-restricted individuals than in many other types of buildings. The population of care homes includes a high proportion of individuals in wheelchairs, with canes or walkers and who have undergone hip/knee replacement surgery. All of these residents will need assistance evacuating the care home in the event of an emergency.
The range of evacuation equipment in care homes will also be more diverse than in other buildings, so that you can cater to the specific needs of each resident. For example, you may want to consider evacuation mattresses, since some residents cannot get out of bed. Evacuation equipment accessories may also be required to provide additional support and prevent injury, such as backrests, head restraints, foot straps and harnesses.
Care homes also present unique challenges for emergency planners, as there will be some residents who are affected by mental health issues. Did you know that one-third of all people with dementia live in care homes?* During an emergency evacuation, it is important to consider their needs. Staff members may be required to accompany them closely to ensure that they can evacuate the care home safely and get to the designated meeting point.
When determining your care home evacuation plan, consider the following:
- Has a fire evacuation strategy been determined?
- Is there enough evacuation equipment? Is there the right type of evacuation equipment for your care home?
- Have you considered residents with special needs?
- Have enough staff members been trained to operate the evacuation equipment?
- Are all residents and staff aware of the fire routes and exits?
- Is there a plan for servicing and maintenance of the care home evacuation equipment to ensure it's in good working order?
- Have Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) been outlined for mobility-restricted residents?
- Have you made provisions, as part of your emergency plan, to ensure that the residents have a safe place of shelter?
If you would like to speak to one of our healthcare evacuation specialists to see how Escape Mobility can support and potentially improve the emergency and evacuation planning of your care home, give the team a call today on 0844 800 1775
* Source: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/statistics