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Fire door adaptation

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grim72
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Fire door adaptation

Post by grim72 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:20 am

I saw this post on my Facebook page and made me wonder what you guys thought? The post was from the US thankfully - not sure it would be allowed in the UK?

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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by Alexis » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 am

Oh my goodness! Really looking forward to hearing opinions on this.

With such a horrible illness to attempt to risk assess, well done whomever thought this one up. They obviously had the best interests of the people with this illness deep in their hearts and still trying to keep to the safely requirements. I say, well done. clapclap
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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by grim72 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:39 am

I still can't make my mind up - I understand the reasoning behind it but can't imagine "hiding" a fire exit door can ever be a good idea? Not sure it is acceptable from a legislative point of view? Then I guess you have to find a suitable alternative solution.
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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by Alexis » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:56 am

grim72 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:39 am
I still can't make my mind up - I understand the reasoning behind it but can't imagine "hiding" a fire exit door can ever be a good idea? Not sure it is acceptable from a legislative point of view? Then I guess you have to find a suitable alternative solution.
I think, because we don't understand the mind of people with Dementia and because we don't have any training in this disease, we can only think of it using logic and Legislative compliance with taught and conditioned thinking, but would this really be the best way forward in a case such as this?

I am hoping our Messy and our other x-fireperson personnel may have come across a similar situation and have some experience they could share? .salut

I am also hoping Berni may have a few thoughts too? .salut

Just as an add-on, we need more of these buses. http://ssscnews.uk.com/2017/06/23/the-v ... s-on-tour/
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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by Merlot » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:59 pm

Its not directly related to the fire door above but shows how specialised the needs of such units are.

I dont claim to have any direct knowledge on the subject but one of my previous employers manufactured floorcoverings that were used by the healthcare providers. A full range of flooring was designed to be dementia "friendly". By friendly, the patterns, colours and chips within the flooring were selected to reduce attention, apparently it wasn't uncommon for OCD / dementia sufferers to be attracted to the sparkly bits in the flooring and try and collect them to tidy up. Lots of testing went into finding the best colour schemes and designs to reduce the anxiety of the patients.

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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by Messy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:20 pm

I have worked extensively in the past with EMI (Elderly Mentally Ill) clients and keeping them in the building and away from risk areas is problematic. These are often extraordinarily vulnerable clients with cognitive abilities during an emergency to a small toddler.

As in general and forensic mental health units, securing the perimeter of the building or ward area is achieved by lock and key, with staff carrying keys to provide a means of escape in an emergency. But with clients rooms its always tricky as for therapeutic reasons, care is augmented by making rooms as homely as possible. Timber wardrobes and softer furniture is one area to achieve that objective

With EMI clients, staff have to literally do everything during an evacuation, as some may not respond to any alarm due to confusion. It seems to me that if the health providers wish to 'trick' these patients by use of false imagery like this at any escape route, with the aim of keeping the client calm and increasing their quality of life, I cannot see it an issue.

Any additional risks can be easily controlled by staff training/instruction as staff will now be directing visitors and contractors to a place of safety, not just clients. I think I would still like a small 'fire exit' sign above the door or on the pelmet if the area was used by the public

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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by grim72 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:32 am

Thanks Messy - that sounds like a perfect answer and a sensible one too (I wasn't sure if there was any legislative reason that would prevent the fire door from being disguised (despite the good intentions). Agree about adding a sign above the door to help with visitors - though appreciate that due to the condition of the patients the weight of responsibility is on the carers who will be fully aware of the exit routes
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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by Messy » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:50 pm

grim72 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:32 am
Thanks Messy - that sounds like a perfect answer and a sensible one too (I wasn't sure if there was any legislative reason that would prevent the fire door from being disguised (despite the good intentions). Agree about adding a sign above the door to help with visitors - though appreciate that due to the condition of the patients the weight of responsibility is on the carers who will be fully aware of the exit routes
Just make sure you justify your variation for expected norms in the fire risk assessment. I often add an appendix to a FRA giving a detailed business case along with any mitigation including additional control measures where necessary. You simply cannot put too much in any justification, but its possible to not put enough. Assume you are writing to a fire safety inspecting officer who has never been to the building before

For example, you may wish to include quarterly fire safety briefings by managers (say at team meetings), changes to staff straining including and especially to induction training. This should include (perhaps) new staff (& contractors) being physically shown where these doors are and their operation

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Re: Fire door adaptation

Post by bernicarey » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:00 pm

Quite intriguing.
It goes to show the different concepts and understanding of Fire Safety in different cultures; make no mistake that the USA/Canada is very much a different culture. The company concerned here are Canadian. https://www.creativeartco.com/
From the caption, they are starting here with the premise that the door cannot be locked; but if it is a secure facility for the protection of residents from accidental self harm why shouldn't it be locked?
If you take a look here:https://www.pinterest.co.uk/creativeart ... r-residen/
there are a number of examples of their work.

I'm a little uneasy at the extent that this has gone to. My feelings are that this company are developing a niche market for themselves and it has become 'disguise the door for disguise the door's sake'.
What about the resident who happens to see a staff member using the disguised door?
Does it distress them even more by seeing someone walk through a bookcase?

Take this example https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/309481805620170216/
The caption is
The details of the previous mural by another artist may have been a challenge for the person with dementia to perceive. The old mural also followed the contours of the door, perhaps making the door still apparent. Our re-do incorporates the whole area, bringing interest away from the door. The images on the "shelves" to the right have uncluttered, age-appropriate items. All imagery is secure and wipeable. As always, you can see into the unit from outside the door through the "books"!
Note that they have disguised the Fire Call Point also.https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/309481805620170296/

When you read some of the captions, it's almost as though they are deliberately trying to confuse:
Details of Exit Diversion. Note the flowers around the Fire Alarm - while a fire alarm cannot be completely disguised (Fire Marshall won't likely approve!) This distraction can also provide life and warmth to the area.
there is a keypad next to the Call Point, so I imagine the door is locked anyway.

Having recently been in a home where my father-in-law was spending some 2 weeks respite time, some of the behaviour of other permanent residents was very confused, such as the lady who was telling everyone she was going home today, or the other one who dressed only from the waist up before wandering the corridors :shock: ; but if I imagine some of them being in a place full of 'hidden' doors, it might actually mess with their minds even more.
Imaging having a different perception of the world around you, but you still understand it enough to walk the corridors, down to the dining room etc, and then you realise the nurse/carer keeps walking through the bookcase....

There are a lot of other things that can be done to prevent unauthorised use of doors, without going to such extremes.

It makes me uncomfortable from a patient care aspect, insomuch as they extent it has gone. There's a line between distraction and deception which may have been crossed, to the detriment of people in an actual emergency situation.
I would want to have a long discussion with the RP of the premises as to why such deception tactics were the way to go..... basically the Pro's and Con's of keeping residents in a calm state, while still ensuring safety for all in an emergency. it's very easy to get carried away with the 'good idea'.



Good topic to start. ./thumbsup..
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