Businesses across the country have been asked to pull together to test the red cord for emergency in their disabled and accessible toilets on November 19 for World Toilet Day.
The charity says the simple action has the potential to save lives and will make accessible toilets safer for disabled people to use.
World Toilet Day was first established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001 as a way to tackle the global sanitation crisis and since 2013 it has also been an official United Nations day.
This year, UK-based disabled access charity Euan’s Guide wants to use this recognised day to raise awareness of the dangers closer to home that so many disabled people face when using accessible toilets in the UK.
Building guidance recommends that accessible toilets have an emergency assistance alarm system with a red pull cord that is easily identifiable and reachable from the toilet and the floor close to the toilet and far too often people in distress are unable to raise the alarm, leaving them trapped with no easy way to ask for help.
A recent poll showed that 57% of people frequently came across red emergency cords that they felt were potentially dangerous.
This is often caused when cords have been cut too short or where they have been tied up out of reach.
Euan’s Guide has successfully distributed over 50,000 Red Cord Cards which are attached to red emergency cords and act as a preventative measure to ensure the cords are reachable for anyone lying on the ground.
The charity now wants to see regular tests and checks put in place across the country, similar to those carried out on fire alarms.
This would involve businesses testing that the alarm is working, carrying out regular checks to see if the cord has been left within easy reach and making sure staff can identify and respond to the alarm.
Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “We are determined to make the world more accessible, but we cannot act alone. We need businesses to get involved and improve their access to create a safer environment for disabled people.”
Adding: “People often assume that everyone in the UK has access to a safe toilet when they are out and about, but sadly this is not the case. We regularly hear from people who have been left lying on the toilet floor for a substantial length of time after being unable to get the required assistance.”
Businesses interested in taking part are asked to sign the World Toilet Day pledge on the Euan’s Guide website.