What is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)?
Disabilities affecting mobility, sight, hearing or cognitive ability can get in the way of individuals being able to follow the general emergency evacuation plan for your facility.
This puts them at risk of missing the opportunity to safely evacuate in the event of an emergency. A PEEP, which is a specialised Emergency Evacuation Plan designed specifically for these individuals, is the solution to this problem. It provides unique processes and emergency responses to cater to individuals with varying levels of ability during an emergency evacuation scenario, so you can ensure they evacuate safely.
When is a PEEP required?
If you’re unsure whether a PEEP is necessary for an individual, you should ask: “are you confident in the person’s ability to evacuate the building safely and promptly during an emergency?” If the answer is “no”, a PEEP is likely to be required.
According to the Australian Standard 3745-2010: Planning for Emergencies in Facilities, a PEEP must be included in a facility’s Emergency Management Plan, if there are any occupants or likely visitors who may require special assistance when responding to an emergency. This might include:
- People who are accompanied by an assistant or companion animal
- People with visual, mobility, hearing or cognitive impairments
- People who use a wheeled mobility appliance
- People with short term injuries or temporary medical conditions.
What elements should be personalised?
Special needs vary significantly from person to person, which is why it is so important to tailor the PEEP to the unique needs of each individual. As a rule, any element in your general emergency evacuation plan that could create an obstacle for individuals with special needs should be adjusted or changed for that person to ensure their safety. For example; if the evacuation route requires use of stairs, those individuals with certain mobility requirements will need to have an alternative route prescribed in the PEEP.
What are the steps in designing a PEEP?
- Analysing an individual’s needs
The first step in developing a PEEP is always identifying exactly what the individual’s special needs are – so that you can then determine which elements of the general evacuation plan will need amending. Remember: a PEEP should be a collaboration between the facility’s Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) and the occupant or visitor with special needs.
2. Drafting a personalised plan
Only once the individual’s needs are carefully determined should you move onto drafting the PEEP. This should involve:
- Identifying the specific evacuation routes and procedures for the occupant to use in an emergency
- Determining whether any special equipment could be required for them to evacuate safely
- Working out whether any people are required to assist the individual in getting to safety
- Deciding whether any emergency response training is needed for the individual or anyone assisting them in fulfilling the PEEP.
3. Circulating the PEEP
There’s not much point in having a PEEP if it is not on hand and accessible, which is why circulating the PEEP is an important final step. Following the drafting of a PEEP, it’s important that the emergency plan is circulated with the individual or their designated assistant, and that they are clear on its directives. A copy should also be kept in a central location, where it is also accessible for emergency services and the organisation’s fire warden to access and utilise.
Not sure your emergency evacuation plan is up to scratch? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.