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High Rise Buildings

Disabled Persons Evacuation

Do disabled persons use your building? Under the DDA regulations, many people have an obligation to help disabled people into the building, but under fire safety legislation, they also have an obligation to get them out again in the event of a fire.

The extent of the provision you have to make will depend on the number of disabled persons using your building, the frequency of the use and the design of the building. Ultimately your Fire Risk Assessment should specify exactly what provision you need to make, but the type of equipment required could include:

· Strobes/beacons linked to the fire alarm to warn people with impaired hearing

· Vibrating pads linked to the fire alarm for sleeping guests with impaired hearing

· Way-finding equipment for visually impaired persons

· Refuge areas for disabled persons using upper floors

· Evacuation equipment for immobile persons using upper floors

The most important point, which is often overlooked, is that the responsibility for evacuating disabled persons cannot be delegated to the Fire & Rescue Service. Whilst they will assist, it is expected that efforts to evacuate all persons from a building will have commenced long before the Fire Brigade arrive. This usually means that suitable evacuation equipment must be available on-site and staff should be trained on how to use the equipment.

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