Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
April 11, 2023

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources


Are you evacuation ready?

The introduction of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 & The Equality Act 2010 requires that in the instance of a fire, a quick and safe evacuation of everyone in the building is of the utmost importance. Fire and smoke spread fast, and could leave people trapped in dangerous, inescapable locations if an evacuation plan is not in place. As an employer, owner, manager, landlord, or occupier of a business, or other non-domestic premises, you must ensure that no one is ever put in that position by preparing an effective and tested evacuation plan. With the addition of the Fire Safety Act 2021 & The Building Safety Act 2022, a greater focus on building safety compliance will look to be enforced through the Building Safety Regulator making it vital for your premises to have robust evacuation plans available.

It is a general requirement that emergency procedures are pre­planned and that planning should have regard to the needs of all occupants. It is therefore essential to identify the needs of disabled people and, where necessary, to make proper arrangements for their assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation.

Employers should encourage disabled staff and visitors to make themselves known. This is to enable their safety during an emergency procedure is given the highest priority. This declaration should be encouraged at registration for students and final interview stage for staff. This is especially important in situations where there is sleeping arrangements e.g. halls of residence.

A Fire Safety Evacuation Plan makes it quite clear that any change in risk to life from fire should be reflected with appropriate measures taken to offset any risks identified. Allowing disabled persons into the building by means of lifts or other powered systems without providing for suitable means of egress is increasing the life risk, quite possibly to an unacceptable level.

The Fire Service are not responsible for the evacuation of anyone, even the disabled – it is the employer’s duty. The Fire Service has a duty to rescue people. The term “rescue” infers that someone must be in a life-threatening situation requiring the immediate intervention by the fire brigade.

A differently able or mobility impaired person positioned in a refuge, for example,  isn’t someone whom requires rescue, they are certainly not in a life threatening situation, unless of course somehow the fire has spread into the refuge area which would be extremely rare. However the employer should have in place suitable procedures to safely evacuate this person from the refuge in an emergency situation.

So therefore, if access is given to areas within the property then clearly egress arrangements must also be put in place to ensure the safe evacuation of disabled persons from the property.

Safety Chair evacuation chairs

As we cannot use the lift for the purpose of fire evacuation, we must utilize the stairway. In order to protect staff, visitors and others during the evacuation, it is required that a fire protected stairway is used. This stairway will be enclosed with fire resisting construction and will lead directly to a final exit, but in many circumstances this causes a problem for the mobility impaired, how will they negotiate the stairs in an emergency situation? The best solution is an evacuation chair, and Safety Chair provide a range of evacuation chairs for both stairway ascent and descent, catering for both single and dual person operation, and includes our battery powered evacuation chair that makes it even easier to descend or ascend a stairwell.

At SC International we are solely dedicated to providing you with the right solutions for safe emergency evacuation. Our trusted evacuation specialists, who have many years of experience, ensure you receive the correct guidance on your evacuation equipment requirements.

As ‘Experts in Safe Evacuation’, we have a rich history of delivering both exceptional service  and unrivalled evacuation products across the globe. From on-site evacuation demonstrations to dealing with a question over the phone we are committed delivering 100% satisfaction, not to mention complete peace of mind, to all of our customers.

We believe that every customers needs are individual and that is why our evacuation solutions are tailor made for every specific instance, plus what makes us different is that when it comes to price, quality, reliability, flexibility, satisfaction, compliance and information on evacuation and evacuation products, we simply will not be beaten.

Our mission

To create awareness on the importance of everyone equally having the ability to evacuate a building safely, and to continually strive to improve the products that allow for safe emergency evacuation.

Find out more here

Related Topics