Building Fire Escape Design Construction Essay

Part A – The design of agencies of flight from edifices frequently assumes that all the people get awaying will be able-bodied. There is increasing concern that disabled people are non good catered for in fire state of affairss. Discourse the jobs presented by edifices in footings of design and direction for people with different types of disablement in a fire state of affairs.


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Since the debut of Disability Discrimination Act 1995, It has become a demand to let safe entree into a edifice for handicapped individuals. This besides included safe agencies of flight in the event of a fire. Even for edifices with low hazard of fire, it is of import that all people within that edifice can make a safe country within 3 proceedingss ( Kent 2007 ) .

It is frequently the instance that edifices are designed with a deficiency of idea of how handicapped people will get away the edifice in an event of a fire. This job, merely, in recent old ages has started to be addressed in the design of new edifices and besides the ascent of bing edifices. This is to do our bing edifice more accessible to handicapped people. By making this means that the figure of handicapped people in the edifice will increase, hence, a fire direction program that incorporates this alteration is required, this program and appraisal may necessitate the accommodation of the edifice in several countries.

In this assignment, I intend to place some of the jobs that disable people will hold when evacuating a people. Discourse the assorted issues that are identified in new and bing edifices when sing the emptying of handicapped residents. From this I can so discourse the assorted systems that can be introduced to a edifice in order to get the better of the troubles identified and supply equal flight or safety to handicapped people

Disabilities and Emptying

When planing new edifices it is imperative that the interior decorator takes into history the emptying of residents, including those that are disabled, at the earliest phases. By sing this at the beginning of the design phase will assist avoid the demand for any extra direction systems that may be necessary to evacuate a edifice.

There are assorted types of disablements that people have and it is of import non to overlook each of these at the design phase, a edifice design can provide for one individual ‘s disablement and wholly overlook another.

A disablement can be defined as “ the limitation or deficiency of ability to execute activities in a mode which may be considered normal for a human being ” ( Shields & A ; Dunlop 1996 )

A study produced by Shields ( 1996 ) demonstrates how actions that may be required in an exigency emptying are practised with trouble, from the informations shown in table 1.0 below, it can be seen that 4.7 % of the entire grownup population of Northern Ireland ( who are out and about ) experience trouble when utilizing stepss, it besides demonstrates how minor obstructors such as thresholds cause troubles for people.


Travel out single-handed



Degree of Difficulty

Degree of Difficulty

Degree of Difficulty










1. Travel up and down stepss










2. Climb outside stepss










3. Cross door saddles










4. Travel through doors









5. Turn on lights-outs










6. Turn door bosss










Table 1.0 Percentage of entire nomadic population ( Northern Ireland ) who experience trouble in assorted activities Source ( Shields & A ; Dunlop 1996 )

Table 1.0 shows the extent of trouble that disabled people have with edifices, observing merely a few points, these demonstrate simple undertakings that are taken for granted when planing a edifice, and these undertakings can be used as a footing for undertakings that would be required when trying to evacuate a edifice.

I feel it is of import to advert that when we consider a individual with a disablement, it is frequently thought that they have merely one single disablement. This, nevertheless is non the instance, Shields informations Tells us that over 36 % of the handicapped population have individual a disablement and a farther 25 % have two disablements. ( Shields & A ; Dunlop 1996 ) Sing these findings, it is easier to see how the undertaking of bing a edifice is a job, instead than the single disablement itself.

Shields ‘ looked at each of the jobs disabled people encounter when evacuating a edifice by transporting out experiments.

First sing ‘Locomotion ‘ , his experiment required participants to travel along a 50m path, incorporating at least one door and at least one 90A° bend. The consequences produced allow us to place the mean sum of clip it took for the participants to evacuate ; we can besides garner the troubles that they found on go outing the edifice.

Capable Group

Mean ( m/s )

Median ( m/s )

With Locomotion disablement:







Assisted ( Excluding wheelchair users )



Without motive power disablement



Table 1.1 Travel velocity ( m/s ) on horizontal by presence/absence of motive power disablement and degree of aid. Source ( Shields & A ; Dunlop 1996 )

Table 1.1 shows us that, as expected, the average velocity for people without a motive power disablement is much higher than those with.

The survey provides farther consequences about people with motive power disablements, when following the path:

Many people used the full breadth of the path and did non needfully follow he shortest way

Some people preferred to be in close propinquity of a wall

17 % of people used bannisters when they were available

Some participants needed to rest during the path

Wheelchair users found it hard to easy travel along freshly carpeted countries

Shield ‘s besides considers stepss, from his research, Shields ‘ explains that many persons merely could non utilize the stepss and others merely when there were two bannisters available, where there was merely one bannister, people had great trouble.

The observations that were accumulated from the experiment are as follows:

The bulk of people negotiated one measure at a clip

Most people had more assurance traveling up alternatively of down stepss

Participants were really careful when puting their pes on the pace

Above 90 % of single-handed topics chose to utilize the bannister

Most participants chose the inside place on the stepss

Where handicapped people had non power in one arm, they were forced to utilize the bannister closest to their ‘good ‘ arm.

The undermentioned point that was considered was Dexterity/Strength, this, allowed research workers to bring forth findings that demonstrated the troubles disabled people had when utilizing a lever/knob grip.

The findings are shown in the tabular array below.

Capable Group



Maximum force applied utilizing lever ( N ) :

With sleight disablement



Without sleight disablement



Maximum force applied utilizing lever ( N ) :

With sleight disablement



Without sleight disablement



Table 1.2 Maximum force/torque applied utilizing a lever/knob type grip by presence/absence of sleight disablement Source ( Shields & A ; Dunlop 1996 )

This tabular array clearly shows that the average force without a sleight disablement is greater whether utilizing a lever or knob grip.

Taking this a phase farther, the consequences proved by Shields besides show the troubles many handicapped people encountered when gap and go throughing through doors.

Shields identifies that where handicapped people failed to open doors was down to strength, when they managed to open the door, they struggled to use plenty uninterrupted force to go through through while maintaining the door unfastened. The findings show that 5 out of 14 who failed to open the door were manual wheelchair users, this was chiefly down to miss of strength and technique. ( Shields & A ; Dunlop 1996 )

Technique becomes a really evident ruin for the wheelchair users when trying to maneuver their wheelchair while at the same time keep it unfastened and go throughing through. This simple mundane activity for able bodied people is immense undertaking to get the better of for handicapped people.


These findings provide us with an understanding on how hard the undertakings demonstrated and experimented in the tabular arraies above truly are for handicapped people. It proves that even the simplest undertaking of opening a door can go a ‘problem ‘ within edifices, this trouble can in bend consequence the clip of flight and over process of the emptying. Interior designers need to take into consideration the troubles that disabled people are meeting to foremost do edifices more accessible and so besides incorporate the same rules into the safe emptying of a edifice.

The job with edifices

In structural footings, where physical characteristics, for illustration, a characteristic from the design or building of a edifice, the attack or entree to premises consequences in doing it impossible or unreasonably hard for handicapped individuals to entree, edifice directors will necessitate to do sensible accommodations to their premises as follows:

aˆ? take the characteristic

aˆ? alter the characteristic so that it no longer makes entree impossible or unreasonably hard

aˆ? supply a sensible agency of avoiding the characteristic or, in the instance of service suppliers, supply a sensible alternate method of doing the service in inquiry available to handicapped individuals


An immediate issue with many edifices is the sum of floors that the edifice may hold, although, adding extra floors increase the sum of useable country and rentable infinite, adding multiple floors besides increases the distance from the issue, hence, perplexing the flight path for handicapped people.

With this in head, an addition in size, finally increases the sum of flight paths and provides more options. Yet, it needs to be considered whether these paths are every bit accessible as entryway doors. As earlier discussed, edifices are being adjusted to let safe entree into the edifice, this means that the entryway is made more accessible, integrating inclines, manus tracks etc, are the flight routes besides integrating inside informations that will let safe and easy flight from a edifice?

Fig 1: Doors swing in way of issue way ; Emergency Lighting ; 44 inches ( 1120mm ) step breadth ; Comfortable, consistent pace and riser proportions ; Rail terminal turns in ; Landing every bit broad as step. Beginning: ( Compact Dynamics 2010 )

Multiple floors means, more stepss, it is argued by Shields ( 1993 ) that the breadth of the flight path needs to be adequate to be able to suit an emptying of a wheelchair bound individual, this is without doing jobs to other escapees.


Doors are being used in edifices to help with the control of fire spread, spliting corridors up and supplying a barrier where required. However, they can besides be hinderance to handicapped people, the breadth of doors, for case, needs to be suited to let a wheelchair user to easy go through through, this normally means that the door needs to hold a clear breadth of 800mm ( Kent 2007 ) . The job does non stop with the breadth of doors, where visually impaired people are utilizing the edifice, it is frequently hard for them to turn up the door, sing that this is job in normal fortunes, it is so extremely increased when in a state of affairs where a visually impaired individual is in demand of turn uping the door during a fire. Therefore doors need to contrast with walls in order to let them to stand out.

As discussed earlier, Shields ( 1996 ) findings show us that wheelchair users in peculiar have great trouble with the undertaking of opening a door and go throughing through while keeping it unfastened at the same clip, this exhibits jobs with the doors opening mechanism and how it can be improved to help handicapped people in utilizing assorted doors.

BS5588: Separate 8 explains that doors must hold a degree threshold, “ It is indispensable that all residents are able to go forth rapidly any country in which they may be in danger from fire. Escape routes should be free from any characteristic that might hinder motion, such as unsuitable door ironmongery or raised thresholds or stairss between alterations of degree within a floor. ” ( BSI, 2004 ) . Existing edifices battle with this statement ; these edifices have frequently been adapted and extended to present more floor infinite. In order to accomplish maximal infinite, the debut to a measure in floor degree may hold been required and hence the consideration of the flight of handicapped people was ignored. Get the better ofing this can include the debut of a incline ; it needs to be made certain that a path without obstructor is introduced, so whether a wholly separate path is provided instead than trying to rectify the original.

A incline creates a path where may non hold been acceptable, but it is still considered that merely a incline may non be appropriate and as such, the incline needs to be full equipment with acceptable bannisters.


In order to follow with Part M of the Building Regulations, edifices with multiple floors are progressively being designed with the incorporating of a lift, nevertheless in the cases of a fire a lift can go unserviceable and it is advised that the lift is non used in the event of a fire ( BSI, 2004 ) . It is hence of import to see the usage of a lift during an emptying due to fire, is the lift suited? Will more than 1 handicapped individual require utilizing it in this event? Identifying these inquiries mean that a lift may non be the reply, BS5588: Part 8, nevertheless, introduces the construct of safeties.

It must be mentioned that, every bit much as BS588: portion 8 illustrates the ways in supplying exigency emersion for residents of a edifice, the method that is set out may non be the optimal solution.


Safeties are countries that provide handicapped individuals with an country that is separated from the fire and supply equal fire protection through improved public presentation wall and floor building. These countries provide impermanent safe country for the handicapped individuals to wait for aid ; it must be considered that the country requires a safe path of issue. ( Gibson 1996 ) .

Fig. 2: Components of a vestibule country of safety: 2-way communicating and instructions ; illuminated mark ; exit stairway ; issue doors. ( Compact Dynamics 2010 )

The refuge country is a waiting country for the handicapped individual to wait for the lift that would be controlled by the emptying director ; they will hold been appropriately trained in this procedure. The refuge country may be to run into the designated people who have been allocated to teach the handicapped individuals or possible to wait for aid where they would be carried down the steps, this may be after the chief emptying.

Safeties should ever be equipped with a method of two manner communicating that links to the control country. It may besides be necessary to include CCTV, this nevertheless, would merely be required on larger and more complicated edifices.

Evacuating the edifice

As discussed, edifices are vulnerable to hinder the flight of handicapped people, and, as such, should be adjusted to guarantee that everything is moderately operable. This is down to the employer or service provided and is portion of there ‘duty of attention ‘ ( Box 2005 ) .

However, seting the edifice may non be plenty ; therefore an emptying direction program would be required. It is a duty for the employer or service provided to place the handicapped people in the edifice and discourse their demands. ( Kent 2007 )

The emptying process inside informations the features of the edifice, this assists with the appraisal of the equipment required to assist handicapped people safely evacuate the edifice. The emptying program will bring forth information on the preparation members of staff will necessitate in order to efficaciously help, in the event of a fire, including the actions to continue when the dismay goes away. It will besides place what to make when it is non possible to safely evacuate a handicapped individual and besides the communicating required when confined to a refuge country.

This brings us onto the demand of a ‘PEEP ‘ , this is a Personal exigency emersion program. It is an single program that explains how that individual will be made cognizant that they are required to evacuate the edifice and therefore how they will get away safely. A PEEP is straight associated with the handicapped individual and the edifice they are in.

A PEEP efficaciously works on the footing that the handicapped individual invariably uses the edifice, i.e. a member of staff. They are created by confer withing with the handicapped individual and taking into history every characteristic within the edifice ( UoL 2007 ) . A batch of edifices, nevertheless, have a high content of members of the public come ining them, a demand to sit each handicapped individual down and travel through their demands and escape process merely would non be executable, so, a scope of standard PEEPS would be required to be produced and be available on requested ( Kent 2007 ) .

See Annex A for an illustration of a PEEP Form.

A few points that should be detailed with in the PEEP are as follows:

The safe flight path they are expected to utilize

Position of Emergency Aids such as Evac-Chairs that the individual may necessitate. Note that preparation and care for such AIDSs is required

Refuge country location and process of emptying from this country

These methods of supplying an exigency flight program, all autumn to pieces if a cardinal rule is non implemented, and this is staff preparation. Staff must be given cognition on the processs set in topographic point and be cognizant of how to implement them in the event of an emptying ( Peace 1999 ) .

Concluding Decision

Buildings struggle to provide for handicapped people at the initial phase of entree ; we are, partially due to statute law, following older edifices to let easier entree for handicapped people. Once in the edifice, as Shields ( 1996 ) experiments demonstrate, simple undertakings such as gap and go throughing through doors require immense sums of attempt to put to death and even so, handicapped people sometimes fail to transport out these undertakings. The emptying of a edifice puts handicapped people in a really vulnerable place, necessitating them to transport out undertakings that we take for granted and do their manner to safety without job. This, nevertheless, is non the instance and as Shields ( 1996 ) demonstrates in his consequences, even when assisted, handicapped people still have trouble.

It is non such an easy undertaking to place what difficulties handicapped people may hold with a edifice, foremost because, with each disablement, there is a undertaking that they as an person have a trouble with. Disabilities impede a individual ‘s ability in different ways, i.e. hearing, traveling, and seeing. Merely when a interior decorator is cognizant of all the disablements that a individual may hold can he truly expression at the countries of a edifice that may do jobs. From this we can place each component, whether it is traveling along a corridor, walking down stepss, hearing an dismay – placing these points means we can see what we presently have in topographic point and develop that into a design that will non do jobs for handicapped people during an emptying.

Many facets of edifices are being put together, where the emptying of handicapped people is in the control of others, the handicapped individuals safety it moved into a ‘refuge ‘ or ‘evac-chair ‘ to assist get the better of the job and from this other people can take over and guarantee the safe issue of the handicapped individual.

A PEEP is a measure frontward ; it puts the handicapped individual in control of how they will get away in the event of a fire and confer with them on their troubles.

All these methods appear to work and from the research I have undertaken have been put into pattern, but the concern we are left with is whether the edifice should be designed around the safe flight of handicapped people. Clearly from Shields ( 1999 ) research, assorted elements of a edifice should be improved, but how far should make we travel until the construct of a edifice design is compromised by leting handicapped people to get away single-handed.


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