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Government Urged to Protect Disabled People from Fire

28 May 2021

Government Urged to Protect Disabled People from Fire

Almost 4 years after the Grenfell Tower fire where 72 people lost their lives, half of whom were Disabled People or children and 85% of whom were from minority ethnic backgrounds, Government has failed to implement the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s recommendations on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for disabled residents who can’t self-evacuate in the event of fire.

Disability Rights UK, Grenfell Next of Kin and the Leaseholders Disability Action Group, alongside disability, access and housing organisations, are calling on Government to take urgent action to protect Disabled People from fire.

In an Open Statement shared with the Secretary of State for the Home Office, Priti Patel and the Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, the Government is asked to implement protections for Disabled People who can’t self-evacuate in the event of fire and to ensure that no disabled leaseholder loses their home or is financially penalised due to the need for remedial works to remove cladding.

Disability Rights UK’s Head of Policy, Fazilet Hadi said “It is now over 18 months since the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommended that building owners and managing agents should have a legal duty to prepare Personal emergency Evacuation Plans for disabled residents unable to self-evacuate. It is completely unacceptable that thousands of disabled residents continue to live in fear of fire.

It is also holey unjust that disabled leaseholders should fear losing their adapted homes or be asked to contribute to bills for remedial works that they can’t afford and that aren’t their responsibility.

The government needs to take swift action to protect Disabled People and the Open Statement sets out what needs to happen.

To read or download the Open Statement, click here.