Fire safety precautions at care centre ‘not adequate’, Hiqa finds

Children had good relationship with staff and liked living in centre in south

The Hiqa report found there was insufficient hot water available for the children to shower on the day of the inspection.

The Hiqa report found there was insufficient hot water available for the children to shower on the day of the inspection.


Fire safety precautions in a residential care centre for teenagers in the south of the country were not adequate, a report has found.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) carried out an unannounced inspection at the residential centre in June.

The centre, run by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, was located in a two-storey house on its own grounds in a rural area and had four children living in it at the time of inspection.

Inspectors noted fire safety precautions were “not adequate” but there was a fire safety register and some good practices in place.

The report said there were ample checks completed including daily checks of fire exits, fire equipment and fire alarm panel.

Smoke alarms and fire fighting equipment was available in the centre and there was adequate servicing of these.

However, there was no fire safety statement or policy. It found some fire doors were identified as not closing sufficiently during routine checks and this was an ongoing issue since January 2018.

Inspectors noted there was no emergency plan for the centre. Although this issue had been risk assessed in May 2017, there were insufficient control measures.


Inspectors found an issue with the provision of appropriate shower facilities for the children. The main bathroom and an en-suite bathroom were not available for use due to leaks since April 2018.

Although there were two other showers the children could use, there was insufficient hot water available on the day of the inspection to ensure the children could shower at a convenient time. Children told inspectors that the issue relating to sufficient hot water was not an on-going issue and staff confirmed this. Aside from the issue relating to leaks, maintenance issues were resolved in a timely manner.

Overall, inspectors said the staff team provided the children with good quality care.

Children told inspectors they knew their rights, had a good relationship with staff and liked living in the centre.

All of the children were in full-time education and had access to a variety of activities including interests and hobbies of their choice and their emotional and health needs were met by the team.

However, some children said they were uncertain about their long term plan and if they could continue to live at the centre as the statement of purpose was not clear, which inspectors noted caused undue stress.

They said preparation for leaving care was not adequate for the children who required this support.

Children told inspectors they felt listened too, had people with whom they trusted to talk to and had a say in decisions about their lives.

Inspectors observed children being asked about the grocery shopping, meal and activity planning and meetings were held regularly where discussions in relation to the running of the centre took place.