Do you know if you need a PEEP or GEEP?

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.

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 a premises is 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.

PEEP or GEEP evacuation notice
Fire evacuation notice

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 conditions
  • 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 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 surgery/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.