Ouch Too

Forum => Health and Disability => Topic started by: RoseRodent on 06 Feb 2016 10:34AM

Title: Red Cord survey?
Post by: RoseRodent on 06 Feb 2016 10:34AM
Is anyone aware of any survey ever taking place to do with the Red Cords in disabled toilets? I'm taking part in the campaign (Euan's Guide - they definitely have NOT done this) to stop people tying the cords up, to encourage people to solve the "problem" of kids pulling the cord by education programmes, not tying the thing out of reach! Does this happen with fire equipment? I think it's often the fear that it will happen, not something that has ever actually happened. Or they just have equipment in silly places - if it's getting pulled by toddlers because it's next to the baby change, the baby change is in the wrong place.

Anyway, what I'm rather rambling towards is, is anyone aware of any methodical survey taking place regarding these cords rather than the anecdotal reporting of facility users? And more than that, is anyone aware of a survey ever taking place of the procedures (or lack thereof!!) of what should happen when the cord is pulled?

I'm looking for things like:
Is the cord alarm tested regularly? On what schedule? Who documents these checks?
Who is in charge of monitoring the alarm cord?
Who is specifically in charge of responding to the alarm cord?
What is your response procedure?

Cos most places I've been, even if the cord hangs freely, the alarm simply makes a buzzing noise and a light comes on and that light is outside the toilet, hundreds of yards away and out of view of any manned staff area. Think of your local shopping centre - if you pulled the alarm cord, would anyone see the light come on, or would you be reliant on a member of the public reporting the alarm to staff?

I'd quite like to do that survey, but couldn't begin to imagine people responding to it. People feel that if they might be in some trouble, they're better off not answering the questions.  >run<

Has this already been done? Is there any regulation of health and safety which requires a procedure to exist? If not, why the heck not?  >doh<
Title: Re: Red Cord survey?
Post by: SashaQ on 06 Feb 2016 11:15AM
DisabledGo have looked at alarms in toilets http://www.disabledgo.com/access-guide/cheshire-west-and-chester/grosvenor-museum-2 - if you go to the Access Guide, select Accessible Toilet and then Features and Dimensions of Accessible Toilet they say whether the cord is working or not.

In that particular place, the cord was down when I visited, and I accidentally got the cord wrapped round my castor when I went in to the room, so the alarm was triggered.  The buzzer sounded in the reception area so someone responded within a minute.

In contrast to that, I once got stuck in a platform lift when it broke half way down and had to press the alarm but nobody came and I just managed to get enough mobile phone reception to call a friend to rescue me.  When I got out, I mentioned it to security, and they tested the alarm.  It was a really weak high pitched whine that sounded in the middle of a busy cafe area, so the security guy said - "see, it's no wonder nobody heard that" rather than saying, "oh, that alarm is in the wrong place because nobody can tell if it is activated"...  >doh<
Title: Re: Red Cord survey?
Post by: RoseRodent on 06 Feb 2016 05:48PM
That's handy to know, but I'm hoping for a survey designed with a specified type of randomization, stats for how many responded and what their responses were. Something organised rather than ad hoc comments on whether an individual found it good or bad on a given day. And a comment on whether or not an ongoing strategy is in place to respond to alarms.

I've had the same issue with lift alarms myself, they go off in a way that alerts precisely nobody.

If these alarms need to exist in order to get signed off to meet building codes, they need ongoing protection by the law in the way fire equipment is tested, rehearsed and signed off with paperwork checked. I doubt one place in 100 does so, but stats would be useful to take it forward. Pettitions are a bit subbing for disability issues as you  always have trouble getting any minority interests through. 10,000 signatures is a small proportion of the population, it's a whole bunch of disabled people! Otherwise they are a white elephant.
Title: Re: Red Cord survey?
Post by: SashaQ on 07 Feb 2016 10:44AM
If these alarms need to exist in order to get signed off to meet building codes, they need ongoing protection by the law in the way fire equipment is tested, rehearsed and signed off with paperwork checked.

That is the challenge indeed - even Part M doesn't often seem to be checked, as there are numerous things I've seen built that haven't met the specifications, and I raised it at the time, but the answer was, "Oh, we've done it now, so it's tough" and when I complained that I couldn't access those parts of a building, the answer was "the feature is there, so we're not adding a new one"...

(A particularly bad example is a ramp that was built in 2015 that is 1 in 10 with no handrails at the front of a building, so I have to use the excellent 1 in 20 ramp round the back that was built in 2005. My favourite example, though, is an "accessible" toilet where the builders misread "maximum" as "minimum" so put the handrails on the wall and then installed the toilet  right in the middle in front of the doorway so there was no side transfer space, no space for turning round for front transfer, and only someone like Mr Tickle could reach the handrails and the toilet at the same time!)
Title: Re: Red Cord survey?
Post by: Noisyworld on 01 Jun 2016 11:49PM
In case you need another excuse for them tying the cord up: in my old health club they tied it up when they washed the floors and the walls because otherwise it would get wet, they *normally* remembered to un-tie it again afterwards!