Your duty of care
Under the Equality Act 2010 and other legislation, organisations have a particular duty of care to make reasonable adjustments or provisions for people on their premises who are at special risk due to disability, injury or other restrictions on mobility.
In practical terms, it’s important to consider that those who may require special assistance to evacuate premises may extend beyond wheelchair users, and could also include individuals with partial mobility issues, visual impairments, the elderly or very young children.
Regulation, risk and responsibility
Fire safety regulations outline the responsibilities of businesses and other organisations towards the safety of individuals in the event of a fire. Specific guidelines can vary depending on both the nature of your organisation and its size, but what they hold in common is an emphasis on the responsibility of each organisation to ensure it has adequate fire safety risk assessment and fire precautions in place – failure to do so can result in fines and even a prison sentence for employers, business owners or landlords who put lives at risk.
Evacuation aids for mobility impaired people
Typical provisions include specially trained designated persons, refuge areas, ramps and evacuation chairs or similar dedicated evacuation aids. An evacuation chair is often employed as a means of quickly assisting a disabled or mobility impaired person from the premises. Designed to be easy to use, safe, compact and stable, an evacuation chair allows disabled or incapacitated individuals to be easily and safely moved down flights of stairs much more conveniently than would be possible with a standard wheelchair.
If your organisation chooses to use evacuation or escape chairs as part of its evacuation procedures, it’s also essential to ensure any such apparatus is properly maintained, and that designated persons (for example any appointed fire marshals or fire wardens) are properly trained in the safe use of the equipment. We offer full evacuation chair training for members of staff to ensure your business meets regulationary requirements.