Government fails to implement PEEPs for high rise fire safety
Despite announcing measures to help strengthen the emergency services and ensure people feel safer in their homes the Government hasn’t implemented PEEPs for disabled people who can’t self-evacuate from high rise buildings.
In 2021, the Government sought formal responses to their consultation on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) to support the fire safety for residents unable to self-evacuate in an emergency. We responded and submitted a response to the consultation, believing that in the wake of the appalling Grenfell Tower disaster in 2019 where almost 40% of disabled residents living in the Tower died in the fire, there would be a strong desire from the Government to take steps to protect disabled residents in the future. In fact, the Government is on record as stating that they are “… determined to continue to learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire to ensure that such a tragedy can never happen again.”
Sadly, despite announcing a raft of measures in the recent Fire Reform White Paper, which “will help strengthen the emergency services and seek to ensure people feel safer in their homes” this doesn’t extend to implementing PEEPs for disabled people who can’t self-evacuate from high rise buildings. Instead, the Government has launched another consultation on their Emergency Evacuation Information Sharing + (EEIS+) alternative set of proposals to support the fire safety of residents who would need assistance to evacuate in an emergency.
The irony of this situation is that the recommendation that PEEPs be put in place was made by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry following evidence from fire safety experts. However, the Government has rejected this recommendation based on their concerns “around practicality, proportionality and the safety case”. The campaign group Grenfell United said the Government’s decision had left them feeling “outraged”, and it appeared that “cutting costs is more important than the value of human life”.
The consultation on EEIS+ closes at the beginning of August 2022 – click below for more information.
We’ll be making another submission to the consultation. If you have any direct experiences or views on the issue of fire safety for disabled people then please email [email protected] and we’ll look to incorporate these into our response.
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