There is no denying that the current global pandemic, COVID-19, has dramatically changed the way that nursing homes are functioning. From reduced staffing levels, additional cleaning procedures and a severe worry for residents’ health, there are many things that nursing homes are having to handle at this moment in time.

You may find that due to current circumstances, you need to reevaluate some of your risk assessments, and one that should definitely be reviewed is your fire risk assessment.

It is essential that you look at your Internal Emergency Response Plan in light of the impact that COVID-19 has had on your nursing home. Staff must be prepared in the event of a fire or other emergency to assist residents should it become necessary to evacuate the nursing home.

When reviewing your evacuation strategy, you must account for the additional number of residents who may require evacuation aids as a result of COVID-19 having increased the number of residents who Will no longer be able to mobilise.

Preparing for a Fire in a Nursing Home

It goes without saying that preparing staff for the actions that will be required in the event of a fire in a nursing home is incredibly different from preparing for a fire in other places of work. While it is more complicated at the best of times, with the addition of the fact that many residents aren’t easily mobile – due to coronavirus – it is essential that everyone knows exactly how to proceed in the event of an emergency.

Thankfully, there are specific evacuation aids that can make things much easier for staff when trying to manage the evacuation of a nursing home during a fire and knowledge of how to use these aids can save lives. For this reason, it is both essential and incredibly beneficial to undertake additional fire training to make sure that staff are prepared in the event of a fire or other emergency to ensure the safety of residents and their colleagues.

The Benefits of Undertaking Fire Training

Nowadays, there are courses, such as the Nursing Home Fire Safety Procedures Course, that are specifically designed for all staff working in a residential care setting.

This course can be delivered as part of a blended training programme, so there is no need to worry about social distancing rules for the class-based element. The skill-based modules can be delivered with reduced numbers of staff staggered over a period of time so that social distancing rules are complied with during training.

Below are some of the main benefits of undertaking a course of this kind;

Staff can Confidently use Evacuation Aids

As mentioned above, not all residents of a nursing home are mobile and many of them will rely on members of staff to get around. During an emergency, it is essential that all members of staff know how to get residents to a place of safety.

Undertaking fire training can refresh staff’s memories in relation to evacuation aids and it will ensure that everyone knows how to use them. Staff will all be able to confidently use things like ski evacuation mat, so if they are required to evacuate then these aids won’t cause problems.

The staff know what steps to follow in an emergency

You may find that due to the current pandemic, you don’t necessarily have the standard numbers of staff working currently and you may even have agency staff helping out, so it is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Getting all current members of staff to undertake fire training will ensure that there is absolutely no confusion regarding how to act in your nursing home if the fire alarm goes off. All members of staff will know the exact steps they should follow in this emergency situation.

Staff are able to protect residents and also each other

Many residents will require staff to protect them in the event of an emergency. They won’t know how to aid themselves in a situation like this and if you have residents suffering from coronavirus then they may even be unaware as to what is happening around them.

By ensuring that all members of staff have undertaken up to date fire training, you know that they will be able to protect residents in an emergency situation. They will also know how to protect each other and ensure that everyone gets out of the building safely.

Undertaking Fire Training during COVID-19

It is clear to see that fire training is essential in nursing homes, especially during the current pandemic. The benefits of undertaking a training course are undeniable and you can guarantee that doing so will also provide peace of mind to all members of staff. You can relax knowing that if there was a fire emergency, even during these unprecedented times, your staff know exactly what they’re doing. If you’re searching for a company that can assist you with blended fire training as soon as possible, visit the Phoenix STS website today. We can provide you with a professional blended training course that can be undertaken by every member of your team at a time that is convenient for them. If you have any questions or you would like to go ahead with a fire training course, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Paddy McDonnell

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