What are the capabilities of occupants who are to be safeguarded during a fire in a building? What type of disabilities should one assume exist? An enormous number of persons who will experience difficulties once a fire occurs have never been given the consideration that they deserve. Aged persons, in particular, who are to be regarded as being disabled due to their limited ability in perception, making decisions and taking action, have almost been neglected. In this society, which has an ever escalating number of persons in 65+ age group combined with highly complex systems, the number of persons to be regarded as disabled is much greater than was previously assumed. It may be simply that those disabilities are made to seem invisible because the gap between the capabilities of the 65+ and the physical character-istics of the buildings that are dealt with by alternative measures (i.e., the life safety protection systems). Should a fire occur, and those alternative measures not be effective or if insufficient time is available, it would lead to a tremendous disaster, the implications of which have never been foreseen. Therefore, it would be desirable to reconsider the philosophy of fire safety in buildings, to deal with the drastic change in the capabilities of occupants. It must be pointed out that in the recent disaster in Kobe, such a large number of fire fatalities was narrowly avoided, because the majority of people were at home. The main cause of fatalities was being caught under collapsed old timber houses.