FEEP's and PEEP's – what are they and how are they different?
A FEEP is a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan. This is a written outline of what action should be taken in your particular workplace in the event of a fire.
A PEEP is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan and is written specifically for an individual who may have difficulty in exiting the building quickly in the event of an emergency.
A logical and clearly thought out FEEP that staff are able to read and absorb before the emergency occurs will help to ensure that any evacuation will be rapid and panic-free. At the very least, a FEEP should include the following information:
- Who the Responsible Person is (usually the business owner, manager or other nominated person who should be trained in fire safety and should be fully cognisant with the fire safety plan)
- What an individual should do on discovering a fire
- How the Fire Brigade is to be called (your fire alarm system may link directly to the fire brigade, but if not, it must be clear who is responsible for calling 999)
- How vulnerable people should be evacuated – I.e. Those that may need assistance or specialist equipment (e.g. children, the elderly, disabled or person with a temporary incapacity)
- What to do when the fire alarm sounds (including helping visitors to exit the building)
- How the building is to be evacuated (usually this will be a simultaneous evacuation, where everyone leaves the building immediately, but if there are particular situations where a phased evacuation or safe area procedure is recommended, this needs to be clearly stated on the FEEP)
- Details of escape routes (all of which should be clearly marked, but it is essential that staff are aware of the various routes from the building)
- Where the assembly point is located outside the building
- Where fire fighting equipment is located on site
- Who the Fire Marshals are (if appointed)
- What training is provided for staff, and its frequency
How to write a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan (FEEP)
The main priority when writing a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan is ensuring that you are considering all possible routes and precautions for any circumstance. This could be anything from making sure PEEPS and GLEEPS are in place for all those who may not be able-bodied, to recognising and indicating where features such as emergency lighting, stairs, ramps and the evacuation point are located.
Start with writing down the route that occupants should take to ensure the quickest escape. Walk around your building and take note of whether that route is obstructed, or does not have sufficient emergency lighting, and make sure to amend these issues immediately.
Next, implement a strategy such as Velcro sheets. This tool allows dedicated Fire Wardens/Marshalls the opportunity to sweep each room for occupants who are struggling to escape the building promptly.
Once you have covered the above, make sure to train your staff & occupants on the fire evacuation plan and allow the practice of it at least every six months.
A PEEP is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan, and is an individual escape plan for people who may need assistance or specialist equipment to enable them to exit the building rapidly in the event of an emergency.
Individuals who may need a PEEP include those with sight, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments, and also children and the elderly. In addition, a temporary PEEP may be needed by people with short-term impairments (e.g. injuries such as a broken leg), temporary medical conditions or who are in the later stages of pregnancy. In essence, anyone who would not be able to exit the building promptly and unaided in an emergency would need to have a PEEP.
Bear in mind that both FEEPs and PEEPs need to be reviewed regularly and amended as and when necessary. It is, of course, vital that staff (particularly Fire Marshals and those in positions of responsibility) have access to and are acquainted with the FEEP (and PEEPs as applicable) to ensure that prompt and efficient action is taken should a fire break out in the building. Any changes made to the plan need to be communicated to staff, and any new workers should be shown the plan as part of their induction. Regular Fire Drills will help to ensure everyone is aware of their duties and what they need to do in an emergency.
How to write a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
- Evaluate the emergency.
- Determine exit routes.
- Identify safe areas.
- Develop evacuation procedures.
- Discuss with employees/fire marshals and wardens.
- Assign responsibilities.
- Conduct training exercises.
- Review and update the plan as needed
The role of fire wardens and marshals in fire evacuations
A Fire Warden/Marshal’s responsibility assist in the prevention of emergencies by monitoring the adequacy of the fire risk control measures. Similarly, they must raise awareness to other staff about the fire hazards that exist within the workplace.
A Fire Marshall/Warden or responsible person is also in charge of reporting to the fire service once they arrive. They will need to know the location of the written fire evacuation plan and fire risk assessment.
Fire Marshals and Wardens are also a key element to ensuring fire evacuations go to plan.
A Warden/Marshall is in charge of helping evacuate all occupants from the premises in the case that a fire alarm is sounding. A great way to help maintain this process is by using the Velcro sheets with instructions and plans on the wall for use in an emergency.
Depending on the particularities of your premises/business, you must have enough people trained as Fire Wardens/Marshals to ensure you are covered in instances such as rotas changing, high overturn of staff/residence etc.
You can guarantee that outcome by preparing a tested evacuation strategy. In this way, you’ll have fulfilled your duty of care as the ‘responsible person’.
As the responsible person, you should have measures in place should a fire emergency ever occur – an evacuation strategy. When drafting a plan, you should take into account a range of factors in relation to your place of work and the personnel working within it, and one of the first actions of achieving this is by undertaking a fire risk assessment.
Doing so will entail monitoring your work place, spotting the risks, establishing who might be in danger, executing new safety protocols considering your discoveries, and revising/updating it regularly. Once your premises have been evaluated in this manner, you can start thinking about what you need to incorporate in your
How can Summit Environmental help?
Fire risk assessments
Formulating a FEEP for your company, or a PEEP for any of your staff
Health and Safety inspections
Fire door inspections
Legionella risk assessments