As part of your fire risk assessment, you need to identify those at risk if there is a fire. To do this you need to identify where you have people working, either at permanent workstations or at occasional locations around the premises, and to consider who else may be at risk, such as customers, visiting contractors etc., and where these people are likely to be found.
You must consider all the people who use the premises but you should pay particular attention to people who may be especially at risk such as:
Of all the people who may be especially at risk you will need to pay particular attention to people who may have special needs, including those with a disability. Under the Disability Discrimination Act, if disabled people could realistically expect to use your premises, then you must anticipate any reasonable adjustments that would make it easier for that right to be exercised.
The Disability Discrimination Act includes the concept of 'reasonable adjustments' and this can be carried over into fire safety law. It can mean different things in different circumstances. For a small business, it may be considered reasonable to provide contrasting colours on a handrail to help those with vision impairment to follow an escape route more easily. However, it might be unreasonable to expect that same business to install an expensive voice-alarm system. Appropriate 'reasonable adjustments' for a large business or organisation may be much more significant.
If disabled people are going to be in your premises then you must also provide a safe means for them to leave if there is a fire. You and your staff should be aware that disabled people may not react, or can react differently, to a fire warning or small fire. You should give similar consideration to others with special needs such as parents with young children or the elderly.