Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Evacuating a building in the event of a fire can be tricky and confusing at the best of times. When evacuating people with reduced mobility or mental capacity the evacuation process is even more challenging.
This is where a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan comes in. Widely utilised in environments like hospitals and care homes, PEEPs should also be applied in workplaces, schools and sports settings, actually any environment whereby the people in the building have reduced mobility or capacity. The term reduced mobility can apply to people who have a temporary mobility reduction, perhaps a pregnant lady, or a co-worker with a broken leg. The term reduced capacity can apply to younger children or an individual who has a sensory processing disorder or other individuals that would be easily confused and disorientated.
In other words, in the event of a fire, anyone who would require assistance to evacuate the premises should have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.
In this article, we examine Personal Emergency Evacuations Plans (PEEPs) in order to make sure everyone is safely evacuated in the event of a fire.
Table of contents
It can be a helpful starting point to categorise the occupants of your premises as either Independent, Dependant or High Dependency. It is important to note that this exercise should be reviewed on a regular basis and updates made as changes occur. Independent people are those that can evacuate the premises unaided and therefore do not require a PEEP. Dependent individuals are those requiring direction or some assistance, while high dependency individuals are those that have severely reduced mobility, have muscular or neurological conditions, etc and therefore cannot evacuate without considerable assistance. Any individual that requires assistance during an evacuation will need to have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).
What is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan?
PEEPs, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan is a personalised evacuation plan written specifically for an individual. These plans aim to document how assistance will be given to individuals who could be unable to leave the building independently in a prompt manner in the event of a fire or another emergency, such as the failure of the building’s lift. A PEEP should be created for every person that has reduced mobility, neurological function, or is dependent on medical treatment and should work in conjunction with the overall fire evacuation plan.
What Should Be Included in a PEEP?
Wherever possible the individual should be involved in creating the PEEP. The Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan should include the following:
Person’s Details: Their name, location in the building and the closest emergency exits.
Evacuation Method and Equipment: Based on the individual’s needs, what will be the best method to assist them to evacuate, what equipment will be required? How will you communicate the event to the individual? What medical equipment will be needed to be transported with the person? What lifting and carrying techniques should be used? Will an evacuation chair, evacuation sledge, ski sheet or slide sheet be needed? Where is the nearest evacuation equipment located etc?
Assistance: the PEEP should include the member(s) of staff tasked with ensuring this person reaches safety and how they will be informed of the event. Staff from every shift should be included in this plan to ensure that whatever time of day an evacuation event occurs, the individual has the support they need to evacuate.
Review and updates: The PEEP should be regularly updated. This Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan should be tested thoroughly during your regular fire drills and amendments to the PEEP made as required. Government guidance with regards to these evacuations is that they should be carried out (i.e. a full evacuation practice) every 6 months for those who need a PEEP. Consideration should also be given to deteriorating conditions and make sure the PEEP is updated as changes occur.
Evacuation Plan: A step by step account of how the individual will be evacuated. Remember not to rely on a single point of exit. This plan should include everything from the sounding of the alarm, including all variations of the fire evacuation strategy contained in the fire evacuation plan, through to arrival at an external safe assembly point.
Fire Evacuation Strategies
Legally, all non-domestic premises must have a fire plan and within this, you will need fire evacuation strategies (often several depending on the building construction and factors like the number of occupants). Read our fire evacuation strategy article for a good insight into the various strategies to consider.
All staff should attend regular fire safety training. At Chris Garland Training we have a wide variety of training courses available, including the popular Fire Marshal Training and Fire Marshal Training for Care Homes as well as Workplace Fire Safety Training. We are also able to create a training programme specific to the needs of the business/school/care setting/environment. If you would like to discuss any element of fire safety training you can email us at [email protected] call us or complete the contact form here.