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Emergency evacuation plans from blocks of flats

SarahRenSarahRen Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi everyone, I am a member of a group called Claddag. We are a group of disabled leaseholders who have been campaigning on the additional ways in which disabled people are affected by the cladding scandal.

Whether you are in a private or social housing, many of us share the same problem of not having an emergency evacuation plan from our home if we live in a block of flats. In my case, for 10 years I have been instructed to 'stay put' in my flat if there is a fire. Many of you might be the same?

We're working with some experts (allies) on this who say they have never in their careers worked with a disabled person where they've not been able to reduce the risk through making an evacuation plan.

We're finding a lot of the building management and fire safety industry do not want to explore plans and want to preserve 'stay put' policies at all costs. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommended that all disabled people in high rises buildings should have an evacuation plan. However, despite saying it would implement all recommendations in full, this was rejected by the Government. Following a claim last year by the daughter of a disabled lady who tragically died in Grenfell Tower, the Government is now having to do a consultation again. Will they agree to let us have evacuation plans?

We're really keen to know what everyone's experiences are and what you think...

Also, if anyone is affected, please join our closed Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1498687113655474 
We are also on Twitter @Claddag

Thanks,
Sarah

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,425 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't want to get into another heated debate on this subject as i'm not physically disabled and I live in a bungalow, and whilst I recognise that Grenfell has opened a can of worms, for my money the "stay put"advice seems to make sense. It would make more sense to me if physically disabled people sought accommodation that wasn't on the 15th floor of a tower block, although I admit that's not always easy.
    Now I'll put my tin hat on and hide in my bunker
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,562 Disability Gamechanger
    I suspect the original poster on this subject sees forums such as this as fertile territory for support. The low number of responders to that thread and the belligerent hectoring tone of the title and thread itself probably spoke for themselves. Talk about doing yourself no favours. Tin hats indeed @woodbine. Now we have a different tack around PEEPs. It’s an interesting one as it doesn’t mention that

    - PEEPs currently have no legal applicability in housing. They’re a concept for the work place. I’m not saying that’s as it should be but it shows just how ambitious this proposal is.
    - the Grenfell enquiry is not yet over but we have groups arguing for specific outcomes without waiting to see whether they would be supported as part of the recommendations. 
    - whilst I note the group has had a little profile and been on the BBC I’m personally no fan of closed groups. There are always some solid sounding justifications given for such things but it further reinforces the impression of something being not quite right. 
    - quoting of “experts”/allies is a red flag for me. Which experts? From where? Funded by whom? With what level of independence?

    People who want open honest exchanges will always find the likes if needed willing to listen and engage but it starts with lots more detail than we’re being given here and needs a lot more openness and honesty. 
  • SarahRenSarahRen Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Mike - what questions do you have? Ask away! I didn't want to overwhelm anyone with detail. Just touching in to see if anyone is affected, feeling lonely, isolated and worried about safety and bankruptcy. I certainly felt better knowing others were in the same boat.

    Every landlord/owner has a responsibility to ensure everyone can get out, so PEEPs absolutely do exist in housing.

    We had the closed group because a lot of people have been experience of hate crime from neighbours who resented funding evacuation aids, and some people were nervous about explaining their health conditions and living arrangements so publically. 

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Please explain more about the group. Are you from a specific geographical area? How did you get together? Are you participating in the enquiry? 

    Would also want a lot more detail about why PEEPs. They generally don’t work in the workplace so what specifically would be done differently to make them work in a home environment when they are often so reliant upon the participation’s day availability of others. 
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