March 2014 – The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton has received formal recognition from London Fire Brigade (LFB) for the voluntary fitting of a fire sprinkler system. LFB wished to acknowledge the reduction in risk to life and property that has been achieved by the Charity’s action, which is beyond regulatory requirements.
Residents and staff were delighted to welcome LFB to the Surbiton Home on 17 February. Mike Barter, the Charity’s Chief Executive, received a certificate of commendation from LFB on the Charity’s behalf.
London Fire Brigade’s Fire Safety Manager for South West London, Victoria Lowry said: “Our research and experience tell us that older people, as well as people with mental health problems and those with mobility issues, are the groups most at risk from fire. Sprinklers are a potentially life-saving tool that are both highly effective in stopping fires from spreading and putting them out quickly. That is why we want to see more care and housing providers follow the example of The Royal Star & Garter Homes by installing them in buildings which house London’s most vulnerable residents.”
The Charity endeavours to provide a safe and caring environment for its 63 residents in every way. Installing a sprinkler system enhances the protection of the residents, staff and visitors. The residents are disabled ex-Service men and women, including 26 residents in the specialist dementia care wing within the Home. The average age of the residents is 87.
The Charity’s Director of Care & Service Development, Pauline Shaw, said: “The comfort and safety of our residents is paramount in the care we provide for them. Drawing on the Charity’s 98 years’ experience in care, the new building in Surbiton offered an opportunity for us to create a Home in which the standards of safety and the facilities were the very best. We are delighted by the recognition we have received from London Fire Brigade.”
The Surbiton Home was purpose-built to create an environment where staff can provide the highest quality of care to the residents. The Home was officially opened by the Charity’s President, Princess Alexandra, on 30 October last year.
Although LFB’s formal recognition centres on the sprinkler system, its inspectors were also impressed by the overall package of investment in sprinklers, fire curtains, specialist lifts, procedures and the very thorough way in which the Charity has embraced fire safety.