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It’s not a question of if, but when, a plan to save lives, a plan ensuring people are able to evacuate in case of emergency.

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Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

A Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is a bespoke escape strategy designed to support individuals who may not be able to safely exit a building during an emergency without assistance. The need for a PEEP arises from various situations where immediate evacuation is crucial for safety.

Conditions Requiring an Evacuation

Not every emergency warrants an evacuation; however, when the safety of individuals is at risk, a well-defined plan becomes indispensable. The decision to evacuate is influenced by several factors, including the nature of the emergency, building characteristics (such as the number of floors and construction materials), and the presence of individuals requiring assistance. Identifying these conditions within your PEEP ensures clarity and preparedness in times of crisis.

The Goal of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

The primary objective of a PEEP is to ensure that everyone, including those who cannot independently find their way to safety, has a clear and accessible route out of a building during an emergency. This plan encompasses detailed instructions on evacuation routes, assistance methods, and equipment use, aiming to minimise panic and confusion during an evacuation.

Who needs a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan?

A personal emergency evacuation plan is required to be provided to anyone who needs additional help to evacuate the building in an emergency. This includes people with disabilities (encompassing mobility, sight, hearing, and cognitive impairments), as well as young children, the elderly, those with temporary impairments, or anyone who requires additional support to evacuate.

Why do I need a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a legal responsibility on those responsible for the management and operation of buildings to provide available means of escape in case of emergencies.

The regulation’s requirements apply to those members of staff or visitors in a building who have some type of impairment that may put them at an advantage or disadvantage in the event of an emergency.

The Order requires fire risk assessments to be completed as a means by which the responsible person can identify and manage fire risks.

Provisions for emergency evacuation of those with impairments should be considered an important part of the fire risk management process.

What should a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan include?

Employers and “Duty Holders” should ensure that effective arrangements have been made to ensure all staff, visitors and occupants can evacuate the building in an emergency.  This should include people who may need some assistance to escape to a place of safety.

An effective PEEP should detail the following elements:
  • Evacuation Routes: Clearly marked and accessible paths of egress for all individuals, including those requiring assistance.
  • Evacuation Procedures: Step-by-step instructions tailored to the needs of individuals with impairments, including the identification of refuge areas.
  • Specialised Equipment: A list of necessary equipment, such as evacuation chairs, and their locations.
  • Staff Responsibilities: Designation of roles for assisting in evacuations, including specific assignments for aiding individuals with impairments.
  • Training Requirements: Identification of training needs for staff to ensure they are prepared to implement the PEEP effectively.
  • Building Adaptations: Any necessary modifications to the building to facilitate the safe evacuation of all individuals.

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How We Can Assist with Your Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

Our expertise in creating and implementing PEEPs can significantly enhance your preparedness for an emergency. We offer comprehensive services that include:

Identification of Needs:

Recognising individuals within your organisation who require a PEEP.

Plan Formulation:

Collaborating with you to develop a tailored evacuation strategy, considering building layout, personnel assistance, and safe refuge areas.

Training Provision:

Delivering essential training to ensure your staff are equipped to execute the PEEP effectively.

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Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan – Frequently Asked Questions

Below we’ve outlined some commonly asked questions about a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan. Still got a question, contact us and request a call back from one of our Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan Consultants.

Is a PEEP required for every building?

A PEEP is required for all individuals with impairments affecting mobility, vision, hearing, or cognitive functions, as well as any other pertinent situations. This includes those with short-term injuries like a broken leg, temporary medical conditions, and individuals in the later stages of pregnancy, for whom a temporary PEEP is essential.

How often should a PEEP be reviewed?

It’s recommended that a PEEP be reviewed at least annually or whenever there are significant changes to the building layout, occupancy, or the individuals requiring a PEEP.

Can a PEEP be generic?

While a general evacuation plan is necessary, a PEEP must be personalised to address the specific needs of individuals requiring assistance, making a generic PEEP insufficient for compliance and safety.

Who is responsible for creating a PEEP?

The responsibility lies with the building’s management or the employer, who must ensure that adequate evacuation plans are in place for all, including those who need additional support.

What happens if there’s no PEEP in place?

Failing to provide a PEEP not only violates UK fire safety regulations but also puts at risk the lives of individuals who might not be able to evacuate safely in an emergency. Such negligence can result in legal action and severe penalties.

How frequently should PEEPs be updated?

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure they remain effective and relevant. This is particularly important if there are changes to the building layout, occupancy, or the physical condition of individuals requiring assistance. It is recommended that PEEPs are reviewed at least annually or whenever significant changes occur.

How do we accommodate temporary visitors needing a PEEP?

For temporary visitors who may require a PEEP, such as guests with disabilities or impairments, it is important to have a procedure in place. This could involve asking about their needs in advance or upon arrival and providing a brief overview of the emergency evacuation procedures.

Temporary PEEPs can be created for events or specific visits to ensure all guests can be evacuated safely.
 

What training do staff need for PEEP execution?

Yes, staff responsible for assisting with emergency evacuations should receive specific training. This includes understanding the PEEPs in place, operating specialised evacuation equipment like evacuation chairs, and knowing how to assist individuals with various impairments safely.

Training should be provided upon induction and refreshed regularly to maintain competence and awareness.
 

How does technology enhance PEEP implementation?

Technology can play a crucial role in enhancing the effectiveness of PEEPs. This can include the use of alarm systems with visual and audible signals for those with hearing or sight impairments, emergency evacuation software to manage and communicate plans, and personal alert devices to ensure swift assistance. Regular testing and updates to these technologies are essential to maintain their reliability in an emergency.

How to evacuate individuals with invisible disabilities?

Evacuating individuals with invisible disabilities, such as cognitive impairments, anxiety disorders, or autism, requires careful planning and understanding.

PEEPs should consider communication methods, the potential need for calm and clear instructions, and the importance of practising the evacuation in a manner that is not overly distressing. It may also be beneficial to identify quiet or less crowded refuge areas where individuals can wait comfortably for assistance.

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