FIA releases fire alarm guidance for people with sensory sensitivities


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The Fire Industry Association has developed a guidance document to cover situation situations where fire alarm warnings are intended for people with sensory sensitivities.

The FIA was contacted in last year about the issue of suitability of fire alarm warnings in special schools, a topic which has not previously been fully addressed in the Code of Practice for fire detection and fire alarm systems.

A group consisting of people with a personal interest and experience in the matter, and experts in the fields of disability and fire safety, came together to formulate the document, highlighting the need for more, and better conversation surrounding the needs of individuals with disabilities.

The new guidance said: “It is anticipated that this guidance document will encourage designers to collaborate with clients to gain a full understanding of building occupants, and thus provide for fire alarm systems that assist evacuation in preference to inappropriate application of the recommendations of a national code which are likely to cause distress and hamper the evacuation of those with sensory sensitivities.

“This guidance document will assist fire risk assessors in asking appropriate questions as part of their work, particularly when assessing special schools, mainstream schools with resource provisions or units, day centres or residential accommodation.”

The guidance from the document, which can be found here, will be presented by James Jones (Vimpex, and FIA Board member), and Sonny White, the 16-year old FD&A expert who instigated the document, at Firex on Wednesday 18 May.

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