New national mobility scooter fire safety guidance has now been published, following a sector led exercise to involve a range of stakeholders.
It is recognised that the use of mobility scooters can enhance the quality of life for many older or less mobile residents, who otherwise may be limited in their ability to access common facilities provided in the premises and also access facilities in the wider community.
With the increased use of mobility scooters comes the corresponding fire safety concern associated with their storage and charging. The design of many premises, particularly smaller and older premises, does not always lend itself easily to the safe storage and charging of mobility scooters.
The lack of space and the layout of the corridors, lifts and stairways in communal areas mean that individuals will often leave scooters adjacent to their front entrance doors on protected escape routes or within protected stairways. When a mobility scooter is involved in fire, the risk of harm is significant. In residential buildings, mobility scooter fires can pose a life safety risk to tenants, employees, firefighters and other relevant persons.
This guide therefore considers a range of relevant factors to enable responsible persons to develop proportionate and risk based policies that act as an enabler to prevent injury and reduce risk to all relevant persons in the event of a fire, to promote independence and to comply with all relevant fire safety and health and safety at work legislation. For new buildings the provision of suitable spaces for storage and charging of mobility scooters should be considered at the design stage.
For more information and to download the guide click here.