People with disabilities (Mobility Impaired Occupants)


A person with a disability includes ‘… occupants and visitors who for one reason or another MAY need assistance or are unlikely to act optimally in an emergency.’

This definition would include but not limited to occupants and visitors who:

  • are accompanied by an assistant;
  • have a guide or companion animal;
  • use alternative forms of information and communication;
  • have a vision impairment;
  • have a hearing impairment;
  • have an ambulatory impairment
  • require assistance in an emergency evacuation.

Reference: AS 3745 – Planning for emergencies in facilities

What do I do in cases where there is an evacuation?

Occupant(s) with disabilities MUST NOT be carried, but rather a Warden or other person should stay with the person(s) with disabilities until appropriate assistance arrives.

Person(s) with disabilities should make themselves known to any Floor Warden or Warden (s) on the level in alarm. The Warden(s) are responsible for informing the Chief Warden (or Building Warden) that a person with a mobility impaired needs assistance. The Chief Warden (or Building Warden) will normally be positioned at the Master Emergency Control Point (MECP), i.e. which is normally located at building Fire Indicator Panel.

Lecturer(s) should assist person(s) with disabilities in their classes with identifying any Floor Warden or Warden (s) in the emergency area or the level in alarm.

If there is no Warden(s) present then the Lecturer(s) should provide assistance directly to person(s) with disabilities.

DO NOT:

  • carry occupant(s) with disabilities down stairs or escalators
  • use lifts or escalators to evacuate the building except when instructed to do so by the attending Emergency Service, RMIT Security or by a member of the Emergency Control Organisation.
  • congregate outside the building entrances unless instructed to do so by an announcement made over the public address system, a direction from the Floor Warden or Wardens (members of the Emergency Control Organisation), a direction from RMIT Security, or a direction from the attending Emergency Service.
  • re-enter the building until advised that it is safe to return to the building by the attending Emergency Service, RMIT Security or by a member of the Emergency Control Organisation.
  • carry on with business - this causes delays, which may put your life and those of others in danger if the emergency is not controlled.
  • try to contact anyone to find out what is going on - this congests the telephone system and hampers control of the emergency.

Where do I go in a case of an alarm?

  • People with disabilities must be found a safe haven until appropriate assistance is available (usually the Fire Brigade).
  • If a person with a mobility impairment cannot exit the building, the muster point for people with mobility impairment would typically be (in order of preference):
    • At the designated fire refuge (where the building has one and as marked on the Evacuation Diagram); or
    • At the fire rated stairs (as marked on the Evacuation Diagram); or
    • At the smoke isolated stairs (as marked on the Evacuation Diagram).
  • In buildings that have an Occupant Warning System that includes Warden Intercommunication Points (WIPs i.e. Red Phones), the optimum position for mobility impaired persons to muster is at a fire isolated stair nearest the WIP phone. At this location, the Floor Warden (if present) or the Mobility Impaired Occupant can call the Chief Warden to advise where persons needing rescue are located.
  • People with disabilities should be positioned or wait at the door of fire rated stairs unless there is a direct threat to their safety, e.g. fire, smoke, or other hazard. Where there is direct threat to the person(s) with disabilities, they should be positioned within the fire rated or smoke isolated ( if no fire rated stair is available) after the traffic in the stair has passed that level, and then be assisted inside the fire rated stairwell landing, to wait until assistance is available to enable the person(s) to be rescued by the attending emergency service.
  • In buildings that have an Occupant Warning System that includes Warden Intercommunication Points (WIPs i.e. Red Phones), the optimum position for mobility impaired persons to muster is at a fire isolated stair nearest the WIP phone. At this location, the Floor Warden (if present) or the Mobility Impaired Occupant can call the Chief Warden to advise where persons needing rescue are located.
  • An able bodied person should stay with that person until they reach the Assembly Area.
  • Fire isolated stairs are rated at a minimum of one to two hours fire rating and these are regarded as acceptable until the attending emergency service arrives to rescue and render assistance.

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

Where it is known that a person(s) with mobility impairments are regular occupants of a building, it is prudent for a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan to be developed by the Occupant (Student, Employee or Visitor) in conjunction with their School or Work Area to identify, assess and record circumstances and abilities prior to an emergency evacuation.

A copy of the PEEP should be kept:

  • by the student, staff member or visitor; and
  • by the relevant school/work area.

The Floor Warden(s) should be made aware of requirements and processes included the PEEP. Download the PEEP Form (DOC, 85KB, 4p)