Introduction to this document

Special evacuation risk assessment

When a building is used by the public, customers or visitors, you need inclusive fire procedures which work for everyone. Use our template to ensure you’re prepared.

Who’s it for?

The purpose of our Special Evacuation Risk Assessment (SEAR) is to identify current weaknesses and actions which need to be taken to ensure the safety of disabled visitors. Once complete you will have a list of required improvements including new equipment, building alterations, additional fixtures and fittings and changes to staff training.

Note. The document deliberately excludes staff and regular volunteers because for these personnel you should complete a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP). Instead, the SEAR will help you to create generic safety procedures for ad-hoc visitors.

The main part of the assessment is set out under three headings which examine the alarm system, evacuation routes and procedures. The final part of your evaluation looks at fire marshal training, vertical evacuation, procedures when using refuges and sleeping risks.

What’s right and wrong?

We have deliberately avoided prescriptive measures as the control measures needed will depend on your building and the way it is used. For example, you might answer “No” to the question about alarm call points being reachable from a wheelchair, but that may be immaterial, e.g. if the section of the building is not wheelchair accessible. As you work through the document write your comments and action points in the column provided. At the end assign an overall level of risk and transfer the actions into a corrective action report.