- The Fire & Rescue Service is responsible for enforcing the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005;
- The responsible person must carry out a fire risk assessment that includes an emergency evacuation plan for the premises including disabled people;
- The plan should not rely on the intervention of the Fire & Rescue Service to work i.e. all persons should be evacuated prior to the arrival of the Fire Brigade;
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 underpins the RRO by requiring that employers or organisations providing services to the public take responsibility for ensuring that ALL people can evacuate safely;
- Public bodies have an additional duty, the Disability Equality Duty, which requires them to proactively promote equality for disabled people;
- It is important that both building managers and disabled people understand that planning for means of escape is about planning for exceptional circumstances. Escape plans should not overplay the safety issue to the detriment of the independence and dignity of disabled people.
What disabled people may be prepared to do in an emergency may differ significantly from what they can manage in their everyday activities. Escape plans for disabled people should be prepared with a view that what is required is for “the real thing”.
The level of effort required of a disabled person may not be acceptable for a practice or a false alarm or in everyday activities. Some disabled people are put at great risk when carry down procedures of any kind are used. With the above in mind management procedures must be put in place to reduce the number of false alarms likely to be encountered.
Disabled people will be more willing to facilitate their own escape if they know that this is not going to be required of them during a practice or false alarm. Your evacuation policy should include a method of reducing or removing the need to escape for a false alarm. It may rely on the provision of suitable adaptations to your building to allow this to happen e.g. disabled refuges, emergency voice communications etc.
Good communication with disabled people is vital to ensure its success and reduce the need for emergency escapes except in exceptional circumstances.
Specific Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP's) should be provided for disabled employees or regular visitors to your premises. They should be tailored to individual needs, give detailed information on movements during an escape and identify building adaptations to facilitate the escape.
Where casual, uncontrolled or unknown disabled people visit your premises standard evacuation plans should be produced, advertised and offered to your visitors. Staff training is vital as they will have to provide information and advice as an incident develops. They will also need to be able to understand all the options available and to be able to communicate them to disabled people at the time of the escape.
Fire Risk Assessment
Download the supplementary guide to fire risk assessment for disabled people by clicking on the link below.
Means of escape for disabled people
If you require assistance in producing a means of escape strategy to include disabled staff or visitors to your premises or require disability awareness and disabled fire evacuation training for staff, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements.
Tel: 01524 781086
Mob: 07980 302 166
Email : [email protected]