Within both your fire alarm strategy and fire risk assessment as well as your fire detection system there needs to be a serious discussion and consideration for the use of your building by persons with special needs.
This is MANDATORY it is not optional.
When in 1995 the disability discrimination act uniformly known as the DDA was replaced by the legal framework of the 2010 equalities act the expert actions for provision and expectations for disability provision (seen and not) increased in both provision and guidance within the life safe safety provision.
1-5 of the UK population have some form of impairment and the responsibility of the life safety partners for a client site is to ensure that what is provided is fit for purpose.
The largest percentage of issues will come within those which are not obvious – mental health being the largest, however it must be included in the thought process of what is provided and how it performs.
Considerations for such issues as colour blindness, vertigo, and photosensitive epilepsy, along with the obvious physical impairments but also Autism Asperger’s and others within this spectrum.
You may have to consider circadian lighting for some of these, you will have to consider increased emergency and anti-panic lighting and potentially increased red directional signage and the used of photo-luminescent tape and paint.
Enhanced lux levels are required within identified SN areas and within localised escape routes.
There are issues within other legislative platforms – BS 5588 was replaced in 2004 by BS9999 which will require consideration.
When considering what type of package is put together for differing environments, offices, factory’s schools, care, shopping malls amongst others the above, in different environments differing levels of provision dependant on the environment but it must be included, it is not as V/O or a nice to have.
Steve Dilloway GiFireE & MIFSM