Do You Know if You Need a PEEP or GEEP?

5 June 2023

If you have employees, residents, customers or visitors to your premises, do you know if you require a PEEP or GEEP?

Most people are aware that individuals might require assistance to evacuate, however many aren’t sure whether it’s a PEEP or a GEEP that they need.

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Here is everything you need to know about GEEPs and PEEPs.

What is a GEEP?

A GEEP is a General Emergency Evacuation Plan.  This type of plan is required in buildings used by the general public or places of work with transient workers.

If premises are accessible to people who may require assistance with exiting a building in the case of an emergency, the Responsible Person needs to ensure that a GEEP is in place.

A GEEP should include details of:

  • The building’s layout
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Equipment and communication devices to be used in an emergency

In public buildings, a GEEP must be available to all visitors and there should be regular drills to ensure that all staff are aware of the procedure.

Why do I need a GEEP?

If you’re a building owner, manager or occupier in the UK, it’s important to have a General Emergency Evacuation Plan (GEEP) in place to comply with UK laws and regulations.

The Equality Act 2010 requires building owners and managers to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that people with disabilities or impairments are not put at a disadvantage compared to others.

A GEEP is an essential part of this, as it outlines the procedures and processes that need to be followed to ensure the safe and timely evacuation of all occupants from a building in the event of an emergency. By having a GEEP in place, building owners and managers can ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations and keeping everyone safe in the event of an emergency.

What should a GEEP include?

A GEEP is an essential safety measure for any building in the UK that has customers or employees visit. It outlines the procedures and processes that need to be followed to ensure the safe and timely evacuation of all occupants from a building in the event of an emergency.

A GEEP should include the following:

  1. Emergency Exits and Routes: The plan should clearly indicate the location of emergency exits and routes, as well as the means of escape and any escape aids, such as evacuation chairs.
  2. Evacuation Procedures: The plan should outline the procedures that need to be followed during an evacuation, including the roles and responsibilities of staff members, as well as the procedures for raising the alarm and contacting the emergency services.
  3. Communication: The plan should include procedures for communicating with building occupants during an emergency, such as the use of a public address system or designated meeting points.
  4. Evacuation Equipment: The plan should detail any evacuation equipment that is available in the building, such as evacuation chairs or sleds.
  5. Disabled Evacuation Procedures: The plan should include specific procedures for the safe evacuation of people with disabilities or impairments, such as Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs).
  6. Training: The plan should outline the training requirements for staff members, including regular drills and training sessions to ensure that everyone is familiar with the procedures and processes.

By including these elements in a GEEP, building owners and managers can ensure that they are prepared for any emergency and are able to keep their occupants safe.

What is a PEEP?

A PEEP is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.  If you have an employee, resident or regular visitor in your premises who requires assistance to evacuate in an emergency, you should consider a PEEP.

A PEEP is a bespoke escape plan to secure the safety of a specific individual, in the event of an emergency evacuation.  Drawing up the plan with the individual, means that you can agree on a method of evacuation and tailor the plan to their personal needs.

Why do I need a PEEP?

A PEEP can be either permanent or temporary depending on the needs of the individual.  A permanent PEEP is required for anyone who has:

  • Mobility impairments
  • Sight impairments
  • Hearing impairments
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Any other circumstances where assistance is required

A temporary PEEP may be required for anyone:

  • with short-term injuries
  • with temporary medical condition
  • in the later stages of pregnancy

Not everyone with a disability or impairment requires a PEEP. If an individual can exit a building unaided safely and within an acceptable period of time, they may not require a PEEP.

Communication is key! Speak to the person about their individual needs and agree on a plan of action together.

What should a PEEP include?

The PEEP will detail the escape routes and identify the people who will assist in carrying out the evacuation and training.  The plan should be regularly tested during evacuation drills to ensure all staff are aware of the procedures and are capable of using any evacuation equipment.  A copy of the PEEP should be given to everyone involved and a central copy held.

Do you have an impact on your visitor’s ability to evacuate?

In addition to having a GEEP in place, if you’re a medical practice, dental practice or opticians, some of your clients could be under mild sedation or have impaired vision. This could make them disorientated and require assistance to evacuate the building.

Even though this could only be for a short time, there should be a plan in place to ensure someone takes charge and assists people in evacuating.

FAQs about GEEPs and PEEPs

Who is responsible for creating and maintaining GEEPs and PEEPs?

Building owners and managers are responsible for creating and maintaining GEEPs, while employers and service providers are responsible for creating and maintaining PEEPs for their employees, visitors, and customers.

How often should GEEPs and PEEPs be reviewed and updated?

GEEPs and PEEPs should be reviewed and updated regularly, especially if there are any changes to the building layout, equipment, or the needs of the occupants. It is recommended to review and update them at least once a year.

What is the difference between a GEEP and a PEEP?

A GEEP is a general emergency evacuation plan that covers the evacuation procedures for the entire building, while a PEEP is a personalised plan that outlines the specific steps and arrangements that need to be made to enable a person with disabilities or impairments to evacuate a building safely in the event of an emergency.

What are the consequences of not having a GEEP or a PEEP in place?

Failure to have a GEEP or a PEEP in place can result in serious consequences, including fines, legal action, and most importantly, endangering the safety of building occupants, especially those with disabilities or impairments. It is important to ensure that both plans are in place and regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.

If you need help creating and maintaining your evacuation plans, contact us today for a free quote.

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