Disabled fire refuge – what you need to know
If you have disabled /mobility impaired staff or members of the public in your business, a disabled refuge will be required.
There are quite a few rules and regulations relating to where the refuge can be located but this needs to consider within the fire risk assessment for the building. The easiest way to accommodate mobility impaired users is to ask them what they need help with, what they can do themselves and what they cant!
If your business is part of a multi-tenant building the refuge points need to be accessible to all users (not just your staff or customers). Completing fire evacuation drills to include the trial of the disabled evacuation procedures. If you don’t do this, you won’t know if it works! This will allow for improvements to be made with all stakeholders.
The fire risk management of the building is also very important to ensure the two-way communication, evacuation chair etc are all maintained in line with requirements.
The refuge will always be in either a fire protected stairwell or in an adjoining lobby. This will enable the evacuation of the staff to clear prior to clearing the mobility impaired staff.
Health screening should be completed with the staff to ensure you as a business owner know who needs that assistance.
The photo attached shows an ongoing maintenance plan of works which has affected the disabled refuge point. If the fire risk management is being carried out, this would not have happened!
It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all the staff, customers and visitors can be evacuated from the building, but remember that the local fire and rescue service cannot be used as part of the plan!
Not sure? Give us a call to discuss