P.E.I. Law Needed To Protect Disabled During Fire Evacuations

Man in wheelchair left behind after fire alarm sounds in Charlottetown

Charlottetown (10 July 2007) - The Prince Edward Island Council of the Disabled says the province needs laws requiring evacuation plans for people with disabilities in the event of fire.

"It's a law that needs to exist," says Barry Schididle, the group's executive-director.

"If there's an evacuation plan for a building, there needs to be consideration in it for people with disabilities," he told the CBC.

"Not everybody can use the stairs and there needs to be some way for the people who are operating the building, who are responsible for it, to ensure that people with disabilities are properly evacuated."

He made his comments in the wake of complaints from a man who was left behind in a wheelchair when a fire alarm sounded at the Atlantic Technology Centre in Charlottetown. Firemen eventually arrived to assist and no harm resulted.

The province and the city are governed by P.E.I.'s life safety code. It does not contain any requirements related to people with disabilities.

Taken from http://www.nupge.ca/news_2007/n10jy07a.htm.

More all disability articles.