Current legislation requires that employers and service providers have suitable and sufficient emergency procedures in place to evacuate all users of a building. Provisions must be in place to ensure anyone permitted into a building can be evacuated safely without depending on the fire service. This is especially relevant where there is a lift and people with mobility impairments are present.
Increased awareness of these requirements has led to the use of a range of evacuation equipment, including evacuation chairs. Unfortunately, we often come across buildings where there is no equipment. In others, the wrong type of equipment may be provided, there can be a lack of or no suitably trained operators and maintenance is not always carried out.
As a result, the organisation/responsible persons may be exposed to non-compliance, prosecution and more importantly, putting lives in danger.
Suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments, emergency procedures, including personal or generic emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs/GEEPs) should be prepared. In addition to this, evacuation equipment should be in place and equipment routinely maintained. Most importantly, there must be a sufficient number of suitably trained personnel to assist with the evacuation.