What is a PEEP?

Fire Safety: What is a PEEP?

Fires are a common occurrence, with fire and rescue authorities in the UK attending 149,779 fires between June 2020 and June 2021. While many of these fires are small and easy to control, some can be devastating and lead to serious injuries and fatalities.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a legal duty on those who are responsible for a premises, such as an employer or building owner, to carry out a fire risk assessment and take steps to reduce the risks associated with fire. It also requires them to provide adequate means for escape in the event of fire for all occupants, including those who require assistance to do so safely.

In this article, we will answer several frequently asked questions about PEEPs, including what they are and who needs one.

Shouted fire warning

What does PEEP stand for?

PEEP stands for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.

What is a PEEP?

A Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is an individual plan created for those who require assistance or special arrangements in order to safely evacuate a building in an emergency, such as a fire.

They are typically created for staff members or frequent users of a building, such as university students or hospital patients.

What is the purpose of a PEEP?

A PEEP is used to help ensure that those who need assistance get the specific help they need, and that those around them are aware of what they need to do to help during an evacuation. For example, a specific fire marshal may be responsible for laying emergency mobility ramps to help a wheelchair user get down a small set of stairs.

Who needs a PEEP?

Anyone who requires assistance to evacuate in an emergency situation should have a PEEP. This may include:

  • Mobility impaired people, such as wheelchair users.
  • Sensory impaired people, such as those who are blind or hard of hearing.
  • People with certain medical conditions that may affect their ability to use stairs, such as asthma.
  • Those with neurodiverse or mental health conditions, such as anxiety.
  • Those who may have difficulties comprehending how to act in an emergency.

Some people may require a temporary PEEP, such as pregnant people or those with temporary physical injuries.

What is in a PEEP?

A PEEP is specific to a person and their workplace, and will vary significantly as a result of this. However, most PEEPs will typically include information about:

  • The person for whom the PEEP was created, such as their work location and times.
  • The escape route that the person will take in the event of a fire.
  • The people who have been assigned to help the person evacuate.
  • Any special equipment that is required, such as an evacuation chair.

Some example measures that may be detailed in a PEEP include:

  • Specifying a refuge, which is a designated safe place in which a disabled person can wait for assistance. These spaces are designed to prevent fire from reaching them, which will provide the person with the time they need to get assistance and evacuate safely.
  • Outlining a specific escape route that a person should take that avoids certain obstructions, such as narrow pathways or security doors that they find difficult to operate.
  • Providing those that are deaf or hard of hearing with a vibrating pager, or positioning them close to a flashing light, to alert them of a fire.
  • Providing appropriate training to those who have a PEEP, as well as those that are responsible for assisting this person, to ensure that everyone is clear on their role in the evacuation process.

At Commodious, we offer several health and safety courses, including two on fire safety awareness. These online courses are a simple and effective way to ensure that your employees understand good fire safety practice and how to act in an emergency situation. For more information on these training courses, use the links shown below: