2009-05-13: The other day, I thought it might be interesting to google ‘PEEPS’. The surprising results … page after page about the marshmallow candies (in English: sweets) which are sold in Canada and the USA. I have learned something new !
What I was trying to find, however, was information relating to Personal Emergency Egress PlanS (PEEPS) for building users with disabilities. PEEPS is widely referenced in British literature … and because certain people (who should know better) believe that the sun, moon and stars rise over London … it has also seeped into the Irish literature by some process of ‘preverted’ osmosis. Most regrettable !
Yesterday, I discussed the inadequacy of developing Fire Safety Management Procedures … or, in fact, designing buildings … with the sole concern being people with disabilities.
Taking account of all the relevant, and different, types of European and National Legislation … the Rule of Thumb should always be People with Activity Limitations and Accessibility for All.
While fully understanding the need for a catchy acronym … ‘PEEPS’ does not respond well to internet searches on Google.
The next unfortunate feature of Personal Emergency Egress PlanS is the misguided use of Fire Engineering Terminology in English …
Evacuation from a Fire Building
To withdraw, or cause to withdraw, all users from a fire building in planned and orderly phased movements to a Place of Safety remote from the building.
Independent emergence of user(s) from a building, under normal ambient conditions, and removal from its immediate vicinity.
Avoidance of injury or harm which is threatened by imminent danger.
Aggression which is a means to another end, e.g. pushing someone aside to escape from danger.
Whenever, therefore, the terms ‘evacuation’, ‘egress’ and ‘escape’ are used interchangeably … on the same occasion … and without apparent rhyme or reason … it is time to call a halt to proceedings … and to scream “bullshit – moráns at work” ! Furthermore … the word ‘escape’ should never be used in connection with fire evacuation from a building. BSI, CEN and ISO … please take careful note !!!
A Personal Emergency Egress Plan (PEEP) is fundamentally flawed and discriminatory because it is …
– person-specific ; and
Would any able-bodied building user tolerate being told that a document would have to be prepared before he/she could enter and use a building … and that this document would discuss only his/her use of the building … and that use only in specified parts of the building ??? No way ! Are you serious !! What a joke !!!
The relevant, and different, types of European and Irish National Legislation require that buildings be accessible … covering approach to, entry, use, egress (under normal conditions), evacuation (in the event of a fire emergency) and removal from their immediate vicinity.
Within this legal environment … PEEPS is fundamentally flawed. And … because building use is limited for specified individuals to specified areas only … PEEPS is also discriminatory.
If there is to be recourse to PEEPS, it should be in very exceptional circumstances only ! And, I can certainly think of one possible situation … existing buildings of historical, architectural and cultural importance … where anything more than moderate interference with the building fabric is both ill-advised and restricted … and everyone’s use of the building must be curtailed to some extent.