Lanarkshire Residential Care Home inquiry concludes lives could have been saved with a proper fire risk assessment.

Fire safety plans were “systematically and seriously defective” at the Lanarkshire residential care home where 14 residents died in a blaze on January 31st, 2004, an inquiry has found.

In a written judgement following a 141-day inquiry into the Rosepark tragedy, Sherriff Principal Brian Lockhart said that the deaths could have been prevented had a proper fire risk assessment been carried out.

He ruled that the fire was caused by an electrical box that had not been properly maintained, concluding that “some or all” of those who perished could have been saved if a proper fire safety plan was in place.

Sheriff Lockhart criticised the owners of the care home for failing to take responsibility over fire safety.

“The deficiencies in the management of fire safety at Rosepark contributed to the deaths,” he said.

“It is to be hoped that residents and potential residents of private care homes will be reassured by the very substantial developments which have taken place in respect of fire safety since the Rosepark fire.”

Residential and nursing homes, rehabilitation premises and care homes (as defined by the Care Standards Act) are all required to ensure that staff are trained to prevent or limit the risk of fire, as well as recognizing and neutralising potential fire hazards.

The government’s guidelines also state that responsible parties for care homes should keep residents informed about hazards and risks where appropriate.