Evacuation of disabled people – What are the existing legal liabilities responsible persons and fire safety professionals must consider?

WOBO acknowledges the opportunity to review the article by Elspeth Grant, published by IFSEC GLOBAL.

Evacuation of disabled people – What are the existing legal liabilities responsible persons and fire safety professionals must consider?

Following the events of the Grenfell Tower fire, the subsequent enquiry found that 41% of those who died were disabled, and that there was little to no planning in place for the evacuation of disabled residents. While the Government says it is continuing to consult on the wider issue, Elspeth Grant, Expert PEEPs Advisor at Triple A Solutions, outlines the wider legal liabilities associated with the evacuation planning of disabled people that building owners, safety managers, responsible persons and all those involved in fire safety need to consider.

There are approximately 14.6 million disabled people in the UK. This means that one in five of the UK population are disabled, with a higher percentage living in social needs accommodation.

Non-disabled people would not accept living in a building from which there was no escape and, where this is the case, swift enforcement action would undoubtedly follow. However, disabled people unable to evacuate the building without the use of a fire-protected lift, are forced to accept this situation. They have no option but to remain in immediate danger until Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) are able to intervene.

Fire Safety professionals are specialists in their own discipline particularly as regards to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO). However, when providing advice or recommendations to clients, many professionals fail to consider the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010, Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and The Health Safety at Work Act 1974.

Implementation of the requirements of Building Regulations Part M can also help to mitigate the disadvantage to disabled people in an evacuation.  Read more…

Evacuation of disabled people – What are the existing legal liabilities responsible persons and fire safety professionals must consider?

 

 

 

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