Jump to content

fire drills in groups of mixed abilities

Guest Rev Pat

Recommended Posts

Hello, I seek your advise please, but also need links to legislation.  We have a large church which we hire out for the community.  One of our groups who has been in action 10+ years, is very good at fire drills and hot on regulation.  However,  we have recently found that in fire drills, it is their established practise to "hold back" all people with mobility impairments (and that's about 1/3 of their group) until all able-bodied people are out, and when challenged, stated that this is current accepted practise both for fire drills and for actual fire/emergencies, and backed by regulations.  This has made my skin crawl and screams of discrimination.  The person in charge is very knowledgeable and has gone away and has now quoted Home Office guidance supporting holding disabled people behind in a fire (SHe doesn't share the link so I can't read it myself to see if this is only for specific situations).  The Equality Act requires everyone (able and less-able) to evacuate "alongside" one another and that putting impairments or blocking disabled people from exiting alongside able-bodied people is actual discrimination. We spoke informally with an adviser on wellbeing for the county fire dept, who was horrified that anyone was being told they had to stay behind; he was going to look up guidance and legislation, but we haven't heard back from him yet.  Are you able to advise please, on what we should be doing (the hall in question is on the ground floor in a modern building, has 3 fire exits clearly labelled and identified with illuminated signage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where the evacuation of a disabled person may slow evacuation such as to case a log jam, pushing, crushing, trips, etc it is accepted practice to refuge them in a temporary waiting space until the escape route is clear. This is however only usually applicable to buildings with stairs, not single storey halls.

Fire safety in premises outside dwellings is dealt with by Business Fire Safety/Protection units within the fire service, any Community Fire Safety department isn't trained in this area hence not being able to instantly reply to you.

Here is the current guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-means-of-escape-for-disabled-people


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...