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Campaigners ask for fire safety plans for all disabled residents unable to self-evacuate

18 June 2021

This week marked the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire in which 72 people died, half of whom were Disabled People or children.

The Government has published a six week consultation on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for Disabled People unable to self-evacuate.

The consultation proposal needs to be strengthened in key areas. Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for Disabled People unable to self-evacuate in the event of fire are only proposed for those  living in high-rise buildings.

At the first consultation meeting, it was pointed out that if Disabled People couldn’t self-evacuate, it didn’t matter how high the building was and all disabled residents should be entitled to Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans.

Participants at the meeting also highlighted the need for building owners and managing agents to clearly communicate that people had a right to Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans and to explain their purpose.

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “Most of us wouldn’t know that we had an entitlement to a Plan and the responsibility should not be put on Disabled People to “self-identify” our need for a Plan.”

The consultation will run for six weeks and closes on 19 July. It is vital that disability organisations and Disabled People respond to the consultation, as there will be no other opportunity to feed in. Following the consultation a Statutory Instrument setting out the requirements for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans will be placed before Parliament.

Channel 4 News reported on this issue on 17 June.