Important new guidance aimed at reducing the risk of fire in Scotland’s care homes was launched today.

The revised information is designed to assist care home owners and staff to fulfil their fire safety duties.

It follows the tragic fire at Rosepark Care Home in Uddingston which claimed the lives of 14 residents and demonstrated the importance of fire safety in such homes.

The Scottish Government put revised guidance in place following that fire, which was praised by the Sheriff Principal in the findings of a fatal accident inquiry into the tragedy in 2011.

However, the Scottish Government gave an undertaking to further revise this guidance to take account of a small number of issues raised at the inquiry. In addition, the guide has been substantially edited to make it more user-friendly and take account of comments received during a public consultation exercise.

Along with the guide, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is finalising a new agreement with the Care Inspectorate to further improve joint working on fire safety.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson who piloted a Fire Sprinkler Bill for Care Homes said:

“It is essential that we do everything we can to protect often-vulnerable residents of our care homes not only in Falkirk but in Scotland as a whole from the risk of fire.

“I very much applaud the Scottish Governments pro active stance on this matter as they have taken the opportunity to develop a substantial revision of the fire safety guidance to provide an improved guide which is practical and easy to use.

“I also support the strengthened partnership working between Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Care Inspectorate to ensure fire safety measures at care homes are regularly inspected, information shared and any issues quickly addressed.

“I trust this will give residents and their families in Falkirk peace of mind and prevent further tragedies from occurring.”