Survey On Total Fire Safety In Residential Care Homes For Elderly Persons In Hong Kong
Free (open access)
171 - 182
G. C. H. Lui & L. Y. C. Tong
With a demographic shift in the ageing population in Hong Kong, more elderly people, in particular those with cognitive impairment, physical disabilities, chronic illness, mild mental disorder and those who suffer from frailty, are unable to take care of themselves. Many of the elders become more dependent and require long-term care. Thus, there is a rising demand on home care and effective supervision for the elderly, such as the Residential Care Home for the Elderly (RCHE). However, it is obvious that if fire occurs in these buildings, the elderly with poor mobility, in wheelchairs or those that are bedridden are in great danger and in need of sufficient assistance from able-bodied people. Public concern on the fire safety aspects of RCHEs is advancing after several recent fires. Sufficient provisions and staff assistance should be available in the case of fires in RCHEs. In order to understand the current situations of the fire safety provisions in RCHEs, a questionnaire survey was conducted at 43 RCHEs all around Hong Kong from November 2007 to January 2008. In this paper, the survey results and corresponding analysis are presented to reveal the local situation. Five parts, building nature and background information, active fire services installations (FSIs), passive building design (PBD), fire risk factors and fire safety management (FSM), are discussed. The overview on the survey results is drawn to identify the major inadequacies in the fire safety aspects of the RCHEs. Total safety in RCHEs can only be provided with good software for FSM in governing the hardware of FSIs and PBD. Relevant statutory regulations should be imposed to deal with the deficiency and improve the situation in RCHEs. The survey data is further useful to simulate the probable fire environment and elders’ behavior in RCHEs using zone models and evacuation models, respectively, in future studies. Keywords: survey, total fire safety, residential care homes, elderly homes.
survey, total fire safety, residential care homes, elderly homes