Risk Assessment

We very much want everyone to have a happy, peaceful and safe stay here in our barns.

Accidents can happen at any time, to the most careful of people, in the most careful of homes… but of course there is an added risk when one is in unfamiliar surroundings.

So, for your safety and peace of mind (and ours!) we have tried to identify all possible sources of ‘danger’ and advise how these can be avoided and any risks minimised.


We have identified people for whom the barns are not suitable:

With the best will in the world we cannot remove the relevant danger or hazards which make both barns unsuitable for:

1. Any child.

2. Any adult who is;

  • ‘unsteady on their legs’

  • with mobility problems

  • with significant sight impairment needing a guide dog

  • needing a carer, other than a partner who will be sharing their double bed.

3. Someone with allergies would be recommended to stay in Douglas’s Barn, which is kept pet free.


This is the most obvious risk which comes to mind: please familiarise yourself with our more detailed separate Fire Policy instructions and statement which you will find in our information packs on

  • on Tom’s Barn notice board tin the kitchen.

  • on the back of the airing cupboard door in Douglas’s Barn.

Escape from upstairs in the event of fire

  • If you need to escape from an upstairs window, use the sheets, bedding, blankets etc. to help you to escape.

  • If a room is filled with smoke, remember to crawl close to the floor where the air is purer.

Avoiding the danger of fire

We do ask you to be extremely sensible and aware of the potential fire dangers, and of personal injury:

1. When cooking:

  • Never to leave anything unattended on the hob, particularly hot oil. There is a splatter guard.

2. With the log burner in Tom’s Barn:

  • We provide personal instructions on how to light and use the log burner to incoming guests, which are repeated on the back of ‘Welcome to Tom’s Barn’.

  • Please do not let it get beyond 500’F. There is a magnetic thermometer on top of the stove.

  • The log burner is meant to be used with the door shut. Please check it is firmly closed, and ‘dampened down’ before going upstairs to bed at night.

  • Do not leave matches or firelighters or spare logs on top of, or close to the stove.

  • The chimney in Tom’s Barn is swept regularly, twice and sometimes three times a year.

3. When using electrical equipment:

  • Please don’t leave anything hot unattended, like the toaster or food cooking on the hob.

  • Ensure all electrical appliances and lights are switched off before going out or to bed.

4. With candles.

  • The barns are cosy, romantic places, and we expect candles to be used, but please treat them with the utmost respect and never use one by the bed or near anything inflammable.

  • We provide a Fire Extinguisher and Fire Blanket in the kitchen in both barns. These are serviced annually by O Heap & Sons, Derby.

  • There are smoke alarms downstairs and up in both barns. We check these regularly, but for your own peace of mind we suggest that you confirm for yourself that they are working.

  • Emergency lighting: There are torches in each barn’s bedroom, and downstairs.

  • Spare batteries for torches and smoke alarms are kept:

    • In the desk in the kitchen in Tom’s Barn

    • In the ‘Emergency Drawer’ in Douglas’s Barn. (We will point this out to incoming guests but please note it is the kitchen base unit drawer nearest to the sitting room, next to the airing cupboard.

Hygiene and your Welfare

Obviously hygiene and the general condition of your surroundings is vital for your health and personal safety.

Allergies and other concerns:

Orchard Farm is in the country, surrounded by tree and greenery (pollen) and with near working farms in the area (animals).

  • Please discuss with us beforehand if you have special – such as bedding – requirements.

  • Douglas’s Barn is pet free.

  • Tom’s Barn accepts dogs and other pets. Although always thoroughly cleaned it is not advised for anyone with a dog or cat-based allergy.

  • Cleanliness

  • We always give each barn a totally thorough clean at each change over, however immaculately left by the outgoing guests, with particular attention paid to the kitchens, fridge/freezer, cooker and bathrooms.

  • We do not provide a cleaning service and would never go into the barn during a guests’ stay unless invited. We do provide all necessary cleaning equipment and materials for you if you need them to keep up your own personal standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

  • We will happily do a thorough clean at the end of the week, by mutual arrangement, for guests staying for a fortnight or longer.

Carbon Monoxide

There is an oil central heating boiler in each barn.

  • We have a maintenance contract and these are serviced annually.

  • We have placed a small Carbon Monoxide monitor near each boiler. These will sound an alarm if there is carbon monoxide present.

Central Heating

We want you to be as warm and as comfortable as you want to be, but one is also aware of the environmental implications so please do not be wasteful of the heat.

Central Heating boiler:

  • Each barn has a programmable time switch, so individual guests can choose the timing appropriate for their needs.

  • Radiators: These all have individual thermostatic controls.

  • Hot Water

  • In Tom’s Barn there is an immersion heater. The timing can be controlled from the heating and water programmable time switch.

  • In Douglas’s Barn hot water is provided by the condensing boiler. The timing can be controlled from the heating and water programmable time switch.

  • If you are wanting regular deep baths in Douglas’s Barn we suggest you keep the hot water onto ON throughout the day to ensure there is enough hot water for you, and then set to come on again at the required time in the morning.

Cleaning Chemicals

  • As far as possible we use less harmful products and equipment, but we do provide for guests’ convenience loo cleaners, dishwasher tablets, washing machine detergent, kitchen and bathroom cleaning sprays. These are kept under the kitchen sink, and/or in the bathroom.

  • If any guest has friends or family visiting with children, please be aware that these products should be removed somewhere where they cannot possibly be reached by the children.

First Aid kit

There us a small First Aid kit provided in each barn:

  • In the desk in the kitchen in Tom’s Barn.

  • In the shelves to the left of the fire in Douglas’s Barn.

Disposal of Waste

Please help us by sorting your rubbish into the appropriate bin in the bin and wood store at the back of the car park.

  • The bin categories are:

    • Household, bottles and jars, tins and plastic bottles, paper and cardboard.

  • The rubbish is collected very early on Friday morning. We put the household rubbish, papers and bottles out on Thursday evening.

  • Everything else we personally take to the Recycling Centre in Ashbourne, so please rinse your tins and plastic containers!

  • We provide a lined kitchen bin in each barn (with a supply of spare liners under the kitchen sink).

  • There is a lined ‘sanny bin’ in each bathroom (with a supply of spare liners under the kitchen sink).

  • There are lined waste paper baskets in the sitting room and bedroom.


Orchard Farm is on a gentle hillside, some distance from any flowing water, so there is little obvious danger from flood waters as such.

However, internally, one could leave a tap running with potentially serious consequences.

  • Please do not leave the bath, basin or kitchen sink running unattended.

  • It might be wise to ensure the plug is out of the basin, and kitchen sink, before going out or to bed.

  • When using the whirlpool jets in either bath, please use the absolute minimum of bath foam. With the jets on its froths up alarmingly, and can easily flood onto the floor and through the ceiling to the kitchen below.

Your Safety

The obvious hazards, other than fire, burns and scalds, are:

The Stairs

  • Tom’s Barn has open tread wooden stairs, with a rail. The stairs could be slippery in stockinged feet or slippers, so please take care and at all times use the hand rail when using the stairs.

  • Douglas’s Barn has cast iron spiral stairs. We have protected the treads with wood, to prevent heels being caught in the original patterned treads.

  • However, these too could be slippery to people in stockinged feet or slippers or socks.

  • We recommend using the rail and the central support at all times when using the stairs

Safety in the bath/room

  • We have provided hand rails to help access to the bath in both barns.

  • Tom’s Barn bath is only accessible up two steps, and therefore is simply not safe for anyone with mobility problems or unhappy with having to climb up into or down out of a bath!

  • In Douglas’s Barn there is a more conventional set up, with no steps into the bath. The bath however is longer, and potentially someone could slip while sitting in it. We provide a non-slip mat which should be placed in the bath.

  • In Douglas’s Barn there is a power shower over the bath. Please use the non-slip mat provided to prevent any danger of slipping while standing in the bath to take the shower.

  • We provide cotton bath mats to stand on when getting out of the bath with wet feet.


Orchard Farm is a former farm, in a very quiet and rural area, which is reasonably hilly.

  • The lanes leading to and in the village are narrow, so walkers and cyclists must take particular care.

  • The slopes will provide no challenge for people enjoying good health and fitness, but anyone with a heart condition or mobility difficulties would find them very difficult.

  • We know from personal experience that it is very difficult to manage a wheelchair up or down them.

Parking and access to the barns

  • Guests park their cars in a specially designated (uncovered) parking spot near the barns across the ‘farmyard’. This is in the Orchard Farm grounds.

  • Guests can drive up to their front door to load and unload, but thereafter park approximately 20 metres away.

  • The surface of the ‘farmyard’ is limestone hardcore, and fairly rustic, with some larger stones. It is not the place for high heeled shoes, and care should be taken at all times when walking across!

  • Let us know if you need help carrying heavy loads into your barn, or up the stairs

Access to the Garden

Each barn has a table and chairs immediately outside, and a small individual space in the garden.

  • Tom’s Barn’s garden is where an old brick lined grain store used to be. It is enchanting, but very bumpy and full of potential hazards for anyone with poor mobility or eyesight.

  • Douglas’s Barn has a newly stone paved area, raised from the ground. We have placed flower pots along the edge, but potentially someone could fall 30 centimeters or so onto the grass below.

  • In our own garden we have a pond, which is not fenced, and therefore a real potential danger for children.

We welcome any suggestions to help us improve what we provide, or how we present the information. If you have any suggestions please phone us on 01335 390 519 or email us at tom@tomsbarn.co.uk

John and Marion Fuller-Sessions

Last revised June 5 2009

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