When considering fire alarm coverage and Fire Risk Assessment issues for care homes and sites with supported living where residents medications include the use of creams and pastes for varying skin conditions it must be understood how these may react in the event that there is a fire within the property (not just the bedroom) and how these creams and ointments which are predominantly petroleum jelly/vaseline will react.
The local fire and rescue services will have their own guidance for the environment, but it must be understood within both the fire alarm design brief and the FRA what the implications and consequences will be in the event of a fire within a room for such a resident – especially if that resident is also a smoker.
Additional protection measures in terms of enhanced fire doors to FD60 may be required along with potentially additional smoke detection if only Part 6 devices are installed – possibly air sampling.
Overall the increased risk to both the resident in question and others living within the building will have to be considered.
Furthermore these issues are not restricted to the elderly as skin conditions affect people of all ages so it may have to be considered in other areas of social care, supported living and school environments with a boarding – live in capability.
The risk assessment should ask some questions that may on the face of things be outside of the jurisdiction of the common parts BUT the question should non the less be raised if there is a potential for this to be an issue either as an addendum to the assessment or a direct reference to SN provision or external care support.