Braemar’s ‘highly realistic’ fire drill is lesson to all

Staff at Braemar Lodge with firefighters and trainers following the fire drill

Team members at Braemar Lodge in Salisbury were put on the spot in a surprise fire drill, complete with ‘smoke and fire’, attending fire crews and simulated casualties.

The home’s safety procedures were prompted to swing into action when a ‘smell of burning’ was noticed coming from a room, the ‘incident’ escalated and urgent decisions had to be made.

Various aspects of the home’s response were tested, including how well fire safety procedures were followed, how easily fire exits were used and how quickly people were accounted for.

We even brought in ‘actors’ from other homes to pose as confused or passed-out residents amid the simulated smoke and flames.

Donna Nightingale, a Senior Health Care Assistant in the thick of the action, said: “I was one of a team of four who needed to determine the source of the fire and, if safe, get everyone out. The smoke and simulation was startling – we thought it was a genuine fire!”

The exercise was conducted in partnership with Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service and our training provider Franklins Fire and Safety.

Roisin Dunne, our Health & Safety Manager, said the aim was to see how the team reacted to what they thought was a genuine situation. The findings were presented at a meeting with the managers of our other homes to help inform group-wide policies and procedures around fire safety.

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