Use our COVID-19 resources to better manage the crisis and feel like you are on the front foot View Resources

Fire Safety breaches result in £50,000 fine for care home company

A care home company in Cheshire was fined £50,000 plus £9,000 in costs last month after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety regulations.

An audit was completed on the premise at Cypress Court Care Home, Crewe in March last year following a complaint from a relative of a resident. The inspection found deficiencies relating to compartmentation, means of fire detection and warning, means of escape, and evacuation procedures were found, putting the lives of people at risk of death or serious injury.

The owner of the care home, Four Seasons Health Care Group were found guilty of two breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

In a statement Four Seasons Care Homes said they regretted the fire safety breaches, but that it was an isolated incident. The statement reads:

"The safety and wellbeing of the people in our care and of our staff is our foremost consideration and we regret that there were breaches of fire safety regulations at Cypress Court. These were identified during a routine inspection by Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service in 2016 and have all been rectified to their satisfaction. There was no fire and Cheshire Fire Authority did not consider the situation serious enough to warrant restriction on using any part of the home while the improvements were completed.

"We accept responsibility, but it is important to explain the context. The home was purpose built in 1996 and complied with relevant building regulations. Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service had inspected the premises on a number of previous occasions, including a Fire Safety Audit in 2012. There had been no material change to the building nor its use in the years to 2016 when fire safety deficiencies were identified for the first time.

"It is accepted that there was no element of the company putting ‘profit before safety’ in this case. This was an isolated historical event. We have invested heavily in fire risk management and improvement works. Prior to 2016, we had already engaged specialist contractors to carry out a detailed fire risk assessment of each of our homes. Cypress Court was scheduled to be assessed and the deficiencies would have been identified and rectified. However, the Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service carried out their inspection prior to our scheduled assessment."

Mark Abram, protection manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The safety of people living, visiting and working in all premises such as this is of paramount importance.

“Establishments where people sleep and may need assistance to get out in the event of a fire are especially significant and fire safety must be treated as a priority.”

How Park City Can Help

Fire safety is a crucial part of any businesses health & safety management, no matter whether it’s in a care home or a manufacturing plant. Employers, business owners and directors have a duty to ensure a safe working environment, eliminate or minimise risks and ensure everyone is aware of what action to take in the event of a fire.

Park City’s consultants have extensive experience of working with care homes on all aspects of their health & safety, including assessing and advising on fire safety. Contact us today if you would like to benefit from the experience of our health & safety experts, 

Back to News Listing

Need help quickly?

There's a great deal to manage right now - the Furlough Scheme, returning to work safely. Lean on us for helpful guidance. Book a call (it's free) with one of our HR or health & safety experts.

We will process your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You may withdraw this consent at any time by updating your preferences.  We make this easy for you by placing a link to your preferences in the footer of every email we send you.

Park City Call Back

We will respond to your call back within 24 hours during business working hours

Please enter your name
Ask a question and get FREE advice

Juliet Price is the Managing Director here at Park City and has extensive, specialist knowledge in HR, Health & Safety and staff development. Enter your question below and we'll be back in touch soon with an answer!

Please enter your name
Please enter your telephone number
Please enter your question
Discover how your people truly feel

Dig deeper into underlying issues, spot opportunities, take action and track progress. Listen , review and take action with real-time reports. Download information about the WeThrive product toolbox, our recommended employee engagement solution.

Please enter your first name
Please enter your surname
Please enter your company name
Please enter your email address
Please enter your telephone number