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Evacuation Chairs and Fire Risk Assesment

Wednesday, 20 October 2010  |  Paul

Fire Evacuation Legislation can appear confusing and daunting and this article aims to simplify what is necessary for a building evacuation in an emergency. There are two parts of the law that need to be taken into account when assessing your fire evacuation procedure.

1. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 England and Wales
2. Disability Discrimination Act 

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 has replaced most fire safety legislation with just one simple order. The order means that any person who has some level of control in premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can safely escape if there is a fire.

This new legislation differs from the previous legislation in that you must consider everyone who might be on your premises, whether they are employees, visitors or members of the public. You should pay particular attention to people who may have a disability or anyone who may need special help.

WHO does the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 apply to?

  •  Anyone responsible for business premises
  • An employer or self employed person with business premises
  • Responsible for part of a dwelling which is solely for business use
  • A charity or voluntary organisation
  • A contractor who is partially responsible or has degree of control over premises.
  • Provides accommodation for paying guests.

WHERE does the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 apply?

The order applies to virtually all the premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space, for example:

  • Schools and sports centres
  • Offices and shops
  • Premises that provide care including care homes and hospitals
  • Community halls, places of worship and other community premises
  • Pubs, clubs, restaurants
  • Tents and marquees
  • Hotels and hostels
  • Factories and warehouses

WHAT are the main rules of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?

  •  Carry out a fire risk assessment
  • Consider who may be especially at risk
  • Get rid of or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably possible
  • Take other measures to make sure there is protection from flammable or explosive materials
  • Create a plan to deal with any emergency and keep a record

The Disability Discrimination Act. Under the Disability Discrimination Act, if disabled people could realistically expect to use your premises, then you must anticipate any reasonable adjustments that would make it easier for that right to be exercised.

If disabled people are going to be in your premises then you must also provide a safe means for them to leave if there is a fire. You and your staff should be aware that disabled people may not react, or can react differently, to a fire warning or a fire. You should give similar consideration to others with special needs such as parents with young children or the elderly.

If members of the public use your building then you may need to develop a range of standard PEEPs which can be provided on request to a disabled person or others with special needs. You should also consider the particular needs of very young children (e.g. in nurseries or crèches) or the elderly who may use your premises.

What is an Evacuation Chair and Why are they Important

An Evacuation Chair is a specialist piece of emergency equipment designed to assist in the evacuation of a disabled person down a staircase. As outlined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and by the Disability Discrimination Act, you will need to make reasonable adjustments to your premises that would make it easier for a disabled person to evacuate a building in an emergency.

Stairways used for the emergency evacuation of disabled people should comply with the requirements for internal stairs in the building regulations. Specialist evacuation chairs or other equipment may be necessary to negotiate stairs.

Health and Care stocks a range of fire evacuation equipment which includes Evacuation Chairs. All of the Evacuations Chairs available on the website are suitable for evacuating a person down a staircase safely in an emergency situation.

The Saver Evacuation Chair is a cost effective emergency evacuation solution, helping you to bring your premises in line with the Disability Discrimination Act and help meet the requirements of a Fire Risk Assessment. The Saver Safe Evacuation Chair is a single user operation emergency evacuation chair. The chair glides down stairs easily and smoothly to ensure no heavy lifting or manual handling is required.