The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 does not exclude disabled people or general needs buildings from the legal requirements of:

  • Article 14(2)(b) “in the event of danger, it must be possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible;”
  • Article 15(1)(a) “establish and, where necessary, give effect to appropriate procedures, including safety drills, to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to relevant persons;”
  • Article 15(1)b) “nominate a sufficient number of competent persons to implement those procedures in so far as they relate to the evacuation of relevant persons from the premises;” N.B. There is no legal requirement that only employees can assist in an evacuation
  • Article 21 “The Responsible Person must ensure that his employees are provided with adequate safety training – iv: the introduction of a new system of work into, or a change respecting a system of work already in use within, the responsible person’s undertaking”

Government Supplementary Guide for Means of Escape for Disabled People. Section 1.1: Legal Overview states:

“The Fire and Rescue Service’s role in fire evacuation is that of ensuring that the means of escape in case of fire and associated fire safety measures provided for all people who may be in a building are both adequate and reasonable, taking into account the circumstances of each particular case. Under current fire safety legislation it is the responsibility of the person(s) having responsibility for the building to provide a fire safety risk assessment that includes an emergency evacuation plan for all people likely to be in the premises, including disabled people, and how that plan will be implemented.

Such an evacuation plan should not rely upon the intervention of the Fire and Rescue Service to make it work.”