Orchard Care fined £18,000 for fire safety breaches

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Orchard Care has been fined £18,000 after admitting fire safety breaches at it Shoreham care home in West Sussex.

The care home provider was fined for failing to take proper fire safety precautions, which “put vulnerable residents in danger”, the Shoreham Herald reported.

Orchard Care was sentenced after admitting fire safety breaches at Cavell House in Shoreham at Worthing Magistrates Court.

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The breaches were found during a routine inspection of the home in July 2014.

West Sussex & Fire Rescue Service (WSFRS) said the inspection found failures in the home’s fire alarm system.

The fire officers also found other areas of concern, including: an electrical intake room being used as an office and storing combustible materials, along with overloaded and poorly maintained wall sockets and draping cables.

WSFRS Head of Business Fire Safety, Paul Fuller, said: “We would always prefer to work with businesses to support them, rather than resorting to court action like that taken here.

“However, businesses must comply with their legal fire safety responsibilities and, when they disregard the safety of vulnerable people, as was uncovered at this property, we have no option but to prosecute them.”

A spokesperson for the home told Care Home Professional:  “This relates to a routine compliance check almost three years ago.  We take health and safety very seriously and full and immediate action was taken as soon as the matter was raised.”

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