Disabled evacuation procedures
Disabled evacuation procedures are a key part of the evacuation strategy for your premises.
There are various impairments that can leave a visitor or employee with the need for assistance to leave the building in an evacuation.
If this is applied in common sense terms, then follow this guide,
Disabled evacuation procedures cover all mobility and disability issues, but most disabilities or mobility impaired users can be assisted out of the building with ease. For the elderly, later stages of pregnancy, visually impaired persons – wait in a safe area until the main flow of occupants has passed through. Then, with assistance, slowly leave the building. A member of staff will assist be holding the arm of the person and talking with them etc.
For deaf or hard of hearing, staff need to collect them and follow the main flow out. The issue here is the inability to hear the alarm activated. There are other means to alert them, such as alarm related devices, but for this blog, we are focusing on the simplest methods and where unescorted members of the public are in the building. This is also known as a “buddy-buddy” system.
The last consideration for the disabled evacuation procedures is those in a wheelchair or when the mobility impairment prohibits the use of the stairs. This is when you need to go to an evacuation chair procedure, not forgetting that the staff need trained!
Important notes to consider for the management of the disabled evacuation procedures,
- Complete health screening with staff to ask whether assistance is needed – not all disabilities are obvious
- If no members of the public in your business premises and no staff declare an issue, then no specific plans are required. If members of the public have access, then plan for the evacuation chair process
- Consider temporary issues such as pregnancy, sports injuries, and post-operations
- It is not acceptable to use the local fire service as part of the evacuation plan for the disabled evacuation procedures
- You must practise the plans for the disabled evacuation
- If any staff declare an issue, then the employer is responsible to complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).
For further guidance or advice, click on the NIFRS link below or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (NI)
Or contact us for guidance, advise or if you need a PEEP or Disabled evacuation procedures completed for you.