Emergency and safety

Consider whether those sailing with you can get out of the building or boats in an emergency



You need to detail the procedures on how an emergency evacuation would be implemented, including warning people that there is an incident, who is responsible for alerting the emergency services, who co-ordinates the evacuation, the exit routes to be used and where to assemble. The procedures and plans must cover all members and users of the facilities – if people who attend regularly have particular access requirements you should consult on how to address these. Staff and volunteers should know the plan and what to do.


Passenger lifts cannot be used in an emergency, but all lifts should have a means of alerting people to an emergency, and if this is an emergency telephone system does it include an inductive coupler (for hearing aid users).

Designated Fireman’s lifts and Evacuation lifts can be used in a fire or emergency – they will have a separate power supply. Fireman’s lifts are used to move equipment to upper floors. It is essential such lifts are correctly identified.

Refuge areas

Upper floors need a safe space where people can stay in safety from a fire for a period of time – they need a communication system. Evacuation chairs can be provided to aid movement from upper floors.

Exit routes

Escape routes must be clearly identified and remain unobstructed at all times. Final exit doors should be level with the ground (if not a portable ramp may be required) and lead to a place of safety away from the building.


Deaf people and people who are hard of hearing may not hear alarms so benefit from a visual indicator as well.


Regular users / members / sailors who may require assistance during an evacuation need a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP). You can consult groups who use the facilities regularly on their requirements and PEEPs can be generic for particular user groups (e.g. visually impaired / partially sighted; deaf / hard of hearing; wheelchair users; learning difficulties)

Checklist questions

  1. Is there an emergency evacuation strategy and plan in place that includes provision for all users / members / sailors?
  2. Do all staff, volunteers and participants know about the plans in place?
  3. If you have a passenger lift, does the emergency telephone incorporate an inductive coupler?
  4. Is there a designated evacuation lift and / or a fireman’s lift?
  5. Can all ground floor fire escapes and exit routes be used by wheelchair users and others who may require assistance?
  6. If there is no means of evacuating people from upper floors are there safe places / refuge areas with a communication system where people can remain?
  7. Is the fire alarm fitted with visual alarms?
  8. Are Personal Emergency Evacuation Procedures in place for regular users who require assistance during an evacuation, including people who may have a temporary disability or condition (e.g. pregnancy)

Accessibility statement

You may want to reassure people that their safety is your primary concern and that you are happy to talk through what might need to be put in place while people use the venue and the facilities.


Next - consider the external spaces, where people need to get to, and how they find their way to different facilities they will access at the venue.

Next - communication and information