Folk"> Folkestone residential home praised for safety

Folkestone residential home praised for safety

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Folkestone residential home praised for safety

Posted: 24/01/2008 13:43:59

The owners of a Folkestone residential home are being recognised for their forward thinking in fire safety with an award from Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS).

St Heliers in Clifton Gardens has recently had sprinklers systems installed and its owners are due to be presented with the KFRS “Safer Home” plaque at a special presentation on Friday 25 January.

This mid-Victorian property has 30 bedrooms and the average age of its residents is 92, some of whom use walking aids. By installing sprinkler systems, the owners have been allowed flexibility with other fire regulations including the use of free-swinging doors rather than heavy self-closing fire doors.

Owner Richard Fraser explained why he’d taken the decision to fit these potentially life-saving devices: “We attended a KFRS meeting and it became apparent that if a sprinkler system were installed then certain other requirements could be relaxed.
“Each resident was moved out of their room for just one day while the sprinklers were fitted so we didn’t have to close down and they’re all reassured that the best possible measures are now in place for their wellbeing. In the case of fire, there is nothing more important than the safety of our residents and staff.”

Commenting on the development, KFRS Assistant Director Steve Griffiths said: “We are committed to reducing the number of accidental fire deaths and injuries and believe that sprinkler systems in the homes of vulnerable people are a vital step towards achieving this goal.
“The owners of St Heliers have set an excellent example in demonstrating the freedom and flexibility that sprinklers provide and we hope other property owners recognise this success by following the excellent example they have set in fire protection measures.”

One of the key factors driving risks of fire and injury is the ever increasing number of vulnerable people living within the community. For this reason, KFRS is campaigning to dispel the misconceptions and myths surrounding sprinkler systems, and has also introduced the ‘Safer Home Scheme’ with the aim of raising awareness of the partnerships and available grants that are already in existence.

Steve added: “The Safer Home Scheme recognises social housing providers and local developers who proactively install fixed sprinkler systems into the homes of those most at risk within our communities.
“It is hoped that this recognition will encourage others to make similar positive contributions towards community safety through design and development and ultimately help to make our communities safer places to live.”


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