Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
May 26, 2022

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PEEPs

Government omits requirement for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans in latest consultation response

Following a consultation on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) in high-rise residential buildings which closed in July 2021, the Government has opted against mandating PEEPs – which was a key recommendation from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

The Home Office has published its full response to the consultation document which outlined its reasoning, stating that mandating PEEPs “at this time could in fact have a detrimental effect on those with certain protected characteristics”, while “compelling RPS [Responsible persons] to administer PEEPs at this point could prove counterproductive”.

The key issues the Government raised were with the “practicality, proportionality and safety” of PEEPs. Instead, it intends to replace the proposal to require evacuation plans and PEEPs with “an alternative package of initiatives”.

Many in the fire safety industry have been said to be unhappy at the response, being viewed as a ‘U-turn’ – the Government had previously stated it would implement the Grenfell Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations in full. The recommendation had been to place a legal obligation on building owners to outline Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for residents in the event of a fire.

41% of those who died at the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 were disabled, according to evidence from the Inquiry, with Fazilet Hadi, Disability Rights UK Head of Policy, arguing that disabled people “knew they were sitting ducks”, with a neglect of safety precautions and planning from the council and management company.

Grenfell United, which represents people affected by the tragedy, described the response as “a disgrace” for continuing to put disabled people at risk.

The Government has stated that the PEEPs consultation has informed, and will continue to inform, policy decisions in this area, but has “revealed issues which we consider need further exploration”, and has consequently launched a new consultation on alternative proposals to support the fire safety of residents whose ability to self-evacuate may be compromised. This includes a proposal on Emergency Evacuation Information Sharing (EEIS), which focuses on residential blocks of flats with a simultaneous evacuation strategy in place.

EEIS, explains the Home Office, would mean that RPs would be required to ask residents to make themselves known if they feel they may need support in the event of a fire, and arrange a home fire safety visit from their local Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) to put a risk assessment in place. This information would then be shared with the local FRS who would factor it in to their operational response.

Other measures to be explored include a toolkit and a call for evidence for examples of practical, proportionate and safe PEEPs being undertaken in residential settings.

More information on the new consultation and a link to respond can be found here.

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