Peninsula Fire Safety South West are proud to support Saunton Beach Villas who have recently launched a newly converted, dog-friendly fully accessible bungalow in Braunton, North Devon https://www.sauntonbeachvillas.co.uk/new-accessible-bungalow/ To ensure their property meets the required standards for fire safety, Peninsula Fire Safety South West have completed a full Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) to ensure the property is compliant.
Accessibility or, the “ability to access” and benefit from enjoying the coast and countryside alike, is a key focus in North Devon. Safe and user-friendly accommodation, providing access to activities for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users, and to provide an experience that exceed the needs and wishes of disabled visitors, is of the utmost importance.
The focus on access to premises to enable disabled people to fully use a building, needs to be matched with arrangements for their safe exit in the event of fire. The safe exit and evacuation of disabled people requires careful consideration and attention. Saunton Beach Villas’ Accessible Bungalow has been thoughtfully designed for wheelchair users and mobility impaired guests. It is on flat and level ground with easy access, widened doorways and ramps to street and garden making entrance and egress more appropriate for any guest that may have mobility restrictions.
Fire prevention or risk reduction requirements have been carefully considered during the construction and alteration phases for the property. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) imposes duties on service providers. It is unlawful to treat people with disabilities less favourably than others, and the law requires ‘reasonable adjustments’ to policies, procedures, and the physical environment. This requirement is anticipatory – it is not acceptable to wait until an issue arises. With that very much at the forefront of the minds at Peninsula Fire Safety, this adapted bungalow has been assessed to ensure that all appliances, materials, furnishings and exit points are appropriate, safety equipment such as fire blankets and extinguishers are easy to access, and exits are suitable and sufficient.
Saunton Beach Villas have considered the rules of courtesy and respect to disabled and non-disabled people alike and applied this to their Accessible Bungalow and are mindful that disabled people should not be treated as a “health and safety” problem to be resolved. The property owners said ‘It is important to see the person not the disability; needs and preferences vary widely between individuals, and it is therefore important to consider this when choosing a safe environment to enjoy a comfortable stay whilst on holiday which meet the needs of all guests’.
Peninsula Fire Safety South West have also supported The Wave Project https://www.waveproject.co.uk/ which is a national charity who rely on fundraising and volunteers. Locally, they work with young people who are referred from across the whole of Devon by running sessions on both the North and South coast. In Croyde, the Wave Project has its first Adaptive Surfing Hub, where they specialise in making surfing accessible for everyone. There they have a range of specialist equipment to enable people with physical disabilities to enjoy the ocean and surfing. The Wave Project supports children and young people who experience a range of physical and mental health issues, social deprivation, or social isolation. Young people attending the courses are supported through surfing to build confidence and self-esteem, develop resilience, and make friends.
In addition to this amazing project, North Devon are eagerly awaiting a new Changing Places facility to be built in Croyde which will provide disabled people with better access to the beach. Access For All is a local group of volunteers campaigning for better changing facilities and WC, enabling disabled and mobility impaired visitors access to our fabulous local beaches.
We hope that these wonderful facilities give better opportunities for locals and visitors with mobility restrictions. For more information on how Peninsula Fire Safety could support your business, please get in touch: