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798 Fire safety practices in assisted living and home care in Finland
  1. Tarja Ojala,
  2. Satu Pajala,
  3. Markus Grönfors,
  4. Nina Martikainen,
  5. Anne Lounamaa
  1. National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland


Background People in vulnerable positions, e.g. elderly or disabled people, substance abuser or mental health patients have an increased risk of becoming fire victims. To avoid this risk fire safety knowledge and good practices are needed for professionals working in the field.

The social and health policy in Finland prioritise assisted living and home care. At the same time the rescue service act stresses that the responsibility of fire safety is on building owners and service providers. Therefore, care professionals are in a novel situation as they are working at clients home and required to take into consideration diverse environment and self-determination of an individual.

The aim of this study was to investigate the fire risk and good practices in assisted living and home care.

Methods The data is from six group interviews done during 2014–2015. Each group included the whole care service chain: the client and one of his/her relatives, care-giver, service provider and planner representatives and fire safety officer. Each group interviewed represented different type of clients and assisted living facilities and service. Interviews took place in various regions in Finland.

Results Each agent at the service chain had ambition to improve fire safety. However, the knowledge among professionals what requires to be done and what others belonging to the same service chain are doing was inadequate. Some safety tools were used but oftentimes the user did not understand enough about their function. Overall, most were interested in safety information and to improve the safety, but the will to invest on safety was low.

Conclusions The care service chain has overall good motivation to improve the safety and fire safety of vulnerable people. However requirements of rescue service act did not materialise in assisted living as well as possible. There is apparent need of knowledge and vocational education material.

  • Fire safety
  • Risk management
  • Training
  • Injury prevention

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