Fire Brigades Union calls on Government to rethink PEEPs decision


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The Fire Brigades Union has written to the UK government, asking decision makers to rethink the rejection of a key Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendation concerning the evacuation of disabled residents of high-rise buildings.

The inquiry recommended that “that the owner and manager of every high-rise residential building be required by law to prepare personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs)” for all disabled residents.

In May, however, the government rejected the recommendation and revealed downgraded plans, which has been meet with criticism from both Grenfell campaigners and disability rights campaigners.

In a letter to Lord Greenhalgh dated 6 June 2022, Minister of State for Building Safety, Fire and Communities, Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary wrote that the FBU was ‘disappointed’ with the Westminster government’s decision to downgrade work towards ensuring residents with disabilities are provided with Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)

The letter read: “The [government] statement claims that implementation would involve significant issues with practicality, proportionality and safety. The FBU argues that resident safety is paramount, so there is a greater safety issue in declining to implement PEEPs. As for proportionality, the Inquiry has found the introduction of PEEPs to be a proportionate strategy, and the FBU agrees.

“Some reasons given for the refusal seem poorly evidenced, for example stating that if a PEEP advised the purchase of an evacuation chair, there would be an “impact on the good relations between disabled residents and non-disabled residents if disproportionate costs were passed on to the latter. Building owners should carry the costs.”

“The government’s decision is a negative, backward step, and the FBU stands with disability campaigners, the Grenfell campaign groups and the LGA in asking you to reconsider.”

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