Draft COVID – 19 PHE Evacuation Procedure in Care/Nursing Homes
Following a valid request from one of clients staff members at Fulford Nursing Home (FNH), York, regarding the need to evaluate existing Progressive Horizontal Evacuation (PHE) procedures at FNH in the event of a fire on the premises. In light of the CQC guidelines regarding ‘Social Distancing’ and Isolation of some Residents in the Care Homes because of COVID – 19.
Because, upon discovery of a fire in a residents bedroom on the premises and the implementation of the lateral evacuation of residents to two doors away from the room involved in fire to the adjacent protected areas. If, the existing PHE Procedures are complied with and there is an area that contains a COVID – 19 Isolating Resident, this could inadvertently result in potential contamination of other residents being evacuated to the adjacent designated protected areas.
Hence, the existing PHE Procedures and the role of the Evacuation Controller (EC) & Fire Marshal’s (FMs) may need re-evaluation to ensure that the COVID – 19 Isolated Residents are not evacuated to the same protected areas as other non COVID – 19 Residents & Staff.
Hence, I sought guidance from a Technical Manager and North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (NYFRS – Mandatory Authority) whom confirmed that they are recommending that the Responsible Person (Duty Holder) for each relevant building should;
‘Focus on updating the existing Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) to reflect any changes in the ‘Exit Strategy’ and manage the suitable mitigation factors that could be used’.
My interpretation of this advice would be that the existing PHE Procedures deemed as suitable under the existing FRA before COVID -19, requires reviewing as part of the FRA process as this is a potential alteration within the premises and should be evaluated and the outcomes should be recorded within a FRA Review to provide the Duty Holder with an audit trail demonstrating they have considered these perceived alterations to the fire safety arrangements within their building.
Therefore, with the support and input of the end users. We have developed a Generic Draft COVID – 19 PHE Procedures as a baseline to evaluate existing procedures, which may assist you to create your own home specific amended procedures.
We are providing this service free of charge for our clients and would like to now extend this service other Care/Nursing Home providers as a small token of our appreciation of the amazing job that these homes and their staff are doing on the frontline.;
Hence, if you would like us to e mail you a free e-copy of these Generic Draft COVID – 19 PHE Procedures. Please feel free to contact me by e mail on the link page below;
Plus, after having had time to digest the guidance, if you feel there is some merit in these Generic Draft COVID – 19 PHE Procedures and would like to discuss specific aspects within your home for clarification. Please do not hesitate to e mail to arrange a suitable time to discuss on the telephone.
Keep Safe & Well
Fire Safety Consultant
Taylor Made Solutions (York) Ltd