To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to Part One of the National Disability Strategy on Ensuring the safety of disabled people, whether his Department's research to develop robust evidence to inform policy in England on the means of escape from buildings, care homes and specialised housing for disabled people has concluded; and when the findings of that review will be published.
We commissioned research on the means of escape for disabled people. This project is reviewing the current approach to evacuating disabled persons across a range of building types, based on people’s lived experience, and using computer modelling to assess effectiveness of different evacuation options. It is looking at the benefit of assistance devices (e.g., evacuation chairs) and evacuation lifts in comparison to providing safe refuges for people to await assistance. This work is ongoing. We also recognise that specialised housing and care homes present a different challenge for fire safety, we are reviewing the effectiveness of current guidance through further ongoing research. The first reports are expected in early 2022, and further research may be required after that, to ensure we have robust evidence to inform policy options.