Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP)

Are you aware what to do to ensure a visitor with mobility difficulties can safely evacuate the premises in the event of a fire?

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the responsible person is required to identify and record any group of persons identified by the assessment as being especially at risk. This would include those with limiting disabilities and those who may be unfamiliar with the premises. Best practice suggests that the fire risk assessment should identify the premises’ occupancy profile and therefore the potential for persons with disabilities to attend meetings, etc. The assessment should then determine any significant risks and what measures may be needed to reduce the risk to a tolerable level. This could include, for example, the use of temporary refuges, communications equipment, equipment to aid evacuation and identification of employees to implement the procedures, any training required, etc. The responsible person can then develop what are known as “generic personal emergency evacuation plans” (PEEPs). The PEEPs should provide a wide range of guidance for differing disabilities and be adapted for the individual premises so that they can be used as options for disabled people to choose from when attending the premises. Such plans should include the:

  • disabled person’s movements within the building

  • operational procedures within the building

  • types of escape that can be made available

  • building systems, e.g. the fire alarm

  • existing egress plan.

The use of generic PEEPs will only be effective if the process for identifying their need is robust. Government guidance states that generic PEEPs are “an extension of the process of signing into a building and being given a visitor badge with the escape procedures on the back of it”. Plans should therefore be held at the reception points within the building and advertised in an appropriate way so that the person requiring assisted escape is offered options for their assistance and is given suitable instructions. In doing so, British Standard 9999 suggests that management should be encouraged to have available, especially at reception, staff who are trained in disability awareness and the PEEP procedures to make the process more comfortable for disabled people and more effective for management.

TO HELP WITH COMPLETING A PEEP and any TRAINING NEEDS

Contact me - elfyn.edwards@btinternet.com

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