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Fire evacuation for disabled tenant

(15 Posts)
regrouted Mon 26-Jun-17 12:08:12

DP is a wheelchair user; we rent a HA adapted flat on the second floor of a low rise block in London.

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the fire evacuation plans have changed from stay put to get out - we weren't explicitly told, instead we noticed the new fire evacuation signs.

DP has contacted the HA to say he is unable to evacuate unaided; the HA sent a personal emergency evacuation plan pro forma which has been returned. Since then, he's had a series of ridiculous back and forth calls asking for my clarity, including questions such as "why are you on the 2nd floor?", "can you walk a bit?" and "could you ask a couple of neighbours who might be prepared to help". They've since said that they need to meet with us to discuss "options".

Any advice on the above, what we can do/cite to them or what these options might be, would be appreciated.

LurkingHusband Mon 26-Jun-17 12:14:40

Didn't want to read and run, but maybe post this in Legal Matters ?

Sounds like someone somewhere has done a lax job of evaluating
statutory requirements.

regrouted Mon 26-Jun-17 12:59:28

Thanks Lurking, I'll report it to be moved now.

katymac Mon 26-Jun-17 13:05:43

They may try to install a haven/safe space where he waits to be rescued while everyone else evacuates

Not my idea of fun...

regrouted Mon 26-Jun-17 14:51:16

God it's just a bit bleak isn't it Katy; yes you sit and wait in the corridor whilst everyone else evacuates around you..

AnthonyPandy Mon 26-Jun-17 14:53:23

Any chance they will try to rehouse you to a ground floor property?

millsbynight Mon 26-Jun-17 15:06:20

They should have a fire & emergency evacuation chair (similar to the picture) next to the stairwell, say where the fire extinguisher is.

I see these in the stairs of big department stores all the time.

LurkingHusband Mon 26-Jun-17 15:07:25

They should have a fire & emergency evacuation chair

And who is supposed to operate that ?

iseenodust Mon 26-Jun-17 15:14:25

Not a lawyer !
These are the official regulations www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/441669/BR_PDF_AD_B2_2013.pdf. One of the options you might want to ask for is to have a sprinkler system 'retro-fitted' to your flat.

iseenodust Mon 26-Jun-17 15:26:18

Scroll down this page for a much easier read on 'retro-fitting' and to get an idea of the cost to the HA www.bafsa.org.uk/sprinkler-information/domestic-residential-sprinklers.php. (No vested interest.)

regrouted Mon 26-Jun-17 16:03:22

Thank you for your replies. They've already said an evacuation chair isn't suitable because it requires training and of course that then trained person to operate it. They're fine for department stores of course, because the store are responsible for evacuating all the customers.

I suppose if there isn't any other option then rehousing would be the only way to ensure DP's safety and their legal obligations. Ugh. Faff.

iseenodust Mon 26-Jun-17 16:39:53

There is an option - cost of a sprinkler system in your flat would be around £1,150 according to that report. Up to you if you want to suggest that to the HA instead of rehousing. Birmingham Council is to fit sprinklers in tower blocks.

katymac Mon 26-Jun-17 16:55:29

Maybe you could get an inflatable slide wink

I had such frustration when I worked in an office on the 9th floor

When we had a fire drill they wanted to carry me down as I was disabled!

I said if there was a fire I would walk down - I would just be knackered and in bed for a couple of days - but I didn't want to walk down if it was aknown drill as I'd need to take 2/3 days off work

It was never resolved - I left

Safety has to be paramount - I hope you have a solution that works for you as a family

regrouted Mon 26-Jun-17 18:11:07

Well exactly! Or an inflatable zorb that we can bundle ourselves into...

Awful for you to have been pressured to practice a pantomime style fire drill and eventually leave because of it.

katymac Mon 26-Jun-17 18:13:46

TBH I would work on rehousing unless where you are is perfect for schools/work etc

I mean it's not your fault you are in an 'unsafe' property is it?

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