HIQA publishes Draft Fire Guidance for nursing homes for public consultation

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published Draft Fire Precautions in Designated Centres - Guidance for Registered Providers and Persons in Charge of Designated Centres for Older People. The draft guidance is now available for public consultation and HIQA is seeking feedback from nursing home providers, residents and the general public.

The draft guidance sets out the necessary arrangements and precautions that a nursing home should have in place to satisfy regulations related to fire precautions in designated centres for older people. It also outlines what inspectors would expect to see in a fully compliant centre.

The draft guidance has been produced to provide clarity for providers, persons in charge and staff working in nursing homes about the precautions that should be in place to comply with the regulations. It also reflects best current and international best practice within the sector including learning from incidents and fatal accident inquiries.

Mary Dunnion, Director of Regulation at HIQA said “There are special considerations to fire safety in nursing homes, such as the safe evacuation of people who have mobility issues or safe storage of highly flammable equipment, such as oxygen tanks. This guidance was produced to ensure that nursing home providers are clear about their responsibilities and to provide an outline of what fire safety in that context looks like. Ultimately, it will help ensure that elderly people in our nursing homes are properly protected.”

HIQA has been examining fire safety as part of its inspection programme since 2009 and this guidance was created in response to issues identified during inspections. Nursing homes are required to give details of their compliance with fire safety regulations to HIQA on a regular basis as well as during the inspection process. HIQA has appointed a dedicated fire-estates inspector to support this inspection programme.

The consultation will run until 18 December 2015, after which, all submissions will be analysed. HIQA may make further amendments before publishing the final document. The guidance can be found at www.hiqa.ie.

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Further Information: 

For further information, contact Suzanne O’Brien, Communications Manager, HIQA, 01 814 7488