Diversity, Inclusion and Safety in case of Fire
Fire safety law in Italy was updated on August 2015 with the introduction of the Internal Ministry Decree 3/8/2015. The regulation provides mandatory recommendations and guidance to consider the requirements of people with disabilities since the stages of design and to heed the inclusion as a prerequisite of the edifice. Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action: while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Disability can be permanent or temporary.
In the context of this new regulation, new and different means of access and egress consider the possibility to escape from a dangerous situation not only using stairs for egress, but also horizontal evacuation into another fire compartment at the same floor. These solutions are known as “area of refuge” and “progressive horizontal evacuation”.
Architectural solutions are synergically completed with other safety measures (e.g. fire alarm and detection systems, fire safety signs, escape lighting, etc.) to offer adequate performance to the needs of “all” the persons, including people with visual, mobility and cognitive impairments.
The contribution highlights some design solutions according to the Italian fire safety regulation, comparing them with the international ones, developed by each country using its own regulation.
KeywordsInclusion Area of refuge Progressive horizontal evacuation
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