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Harrow London assembly member criticises care home fire safety

The London assembly member representing Harrow has urged all care homes in the borough to get their “fire safety standards up to scratch”.

Navin Shah responded to audits carried out by the London Fire Brigade (LFB), which showed that seven care homes in Harrow failed to make the grade.

They were handed either notice of deficiencies or enforcement notices and advised to carry out improvements.

The LFB conducted thousands of safety inspections in buildings across the capital in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Mr Shah said it was worrying that several care homes in Harrow had been deemed in some way unfit and he implored those responsible to rectify this.

He said: “It is very concerning that some of the most vulnerable members of our community are being put at risk in this way.

“These inspections carried out by the LFB have been vital in highlighting, not only a local issue, but one that urgently affects the whole of our capital.

“Care homes have a duty of care to their residents. It is vital they co-operate fully with the LFB to get their fire safety standards up to scratch and take all possible measures to prevent any future tragedies.”

When the initial inspections were carried out, the LFB found that 549 homes in London had deficiencies in their systems – of these, 51 were handed enforcement notices.

Bromley was the worst-performing borough, with 71 care homes failing the audit. At the opposite end of the scale, Merton and Hammersmith and Fulham had just five poor performing homes.

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LFB assistant commissioner Dan Daley said it was vital that care home managers regularly check their fire safety procedures to protect all associated with them.

He said: “Care homes need to urgently review their fire risk assessments and ensure their staff know how to safely evacuate their residents, especially those who are immobile.

“If you were placing your loved one into the care of others, you would expect them to be safe but for too many people, the very roof they are sleeping under could put them at risk.”

Source: By Adam Shaw

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