Having disabled evacuation plans for residents in your HMO is an important consideration that Landlords and managing agents often overlook!
The Fire & Rescue service cannot be used as part of your evacuation plan, so the Landlord (or the managing agent, if under contract to manage the property) is responsible to ensure everyone in the HMO can be safely evacuated.
There are several points to consider when planning for disabled evacuation,
Firstly, the residents need to be asked if they have a disability, mobility or other impairment which will hinder their ability to leave the property without assistance.
This can be a range of issues such as, a hearing issue which means they can’t hear the fire alarm, a sight issues which means they can’t see the way out, or the emergency lighting or a mental health issue such as Autism.
Don’t forget that temporary mobility issues such as a broken leg from playing football, or a heavily pregnant woman. These people also have to be considered for assistance during evacuation.
Once, all the residents have made a declaration and there are no issues to note, then it becomes a case of monitoring and nothing else. Always ensure the residents are told to inform the agent or the landlord if the situation changes.
But what if a resident comes back with a declaration?
Keep it Simple!
The key to the answer in this scenario, is to keep it simple! Sit down with the resident and ask them what the best method is to assist them. Remember they will know more about their condition than you do (unless the Landlord is a Doctor!)
You do not specifically need to know the condition; you need to know how to get them out. The simple ways can be to ensure they have a ground floor room or if another resident can assist them. Where hearing is a problem, there are WI-FI apps than can be linked to mobile phones which vibrate, and it is possible to get a vibrating pillow.
The important points to remember are to ask the residents, put a plan in place and then carry out a drill to try it out. Ensure the residents are informed of the plans for the disabled evacuation and the actions to be taken in the event of a fire.
Get in touch, if you have any questions about disabled evacuations from your HMO, place of work or for any fire safety requirements