Branch Secretary :

Government rejects Grenfell Inquiry recommendation on PEEPs

Advice from safety experts


The Grenfell Tower inquiry has recommended that building owners should be required to produce evacuation plans for high-rise buildings and personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for people with disabilities. 


The recommendation was made in October 2019, following evidence from fire safety experts but last weeks the government rejected it.


Social landlords


Unite housing workers have consistently called for the inquiry recommendations to be implemented in full, we would now call on social landlords to respond despite the lack of legal requirement.


Grenfell United, which represents people affected by the 2017 tragedy, described the response as “a disgrace” for putting disabled people at risk.


Profit, sole focus


The group said: “We are enraged at the government, whose sole focus continues to be profit and not public safety. We’ve fought for years to create a legacy for our 72 loved ones, and to prevent another Grenfell.



Disability groups have also pledged to fight the decision.


Policy resulted in 41% of those living with disabilities dying at Grenfell


“But five years on, the government has reverted back to the same policy in place before Grenfell. This policy resulted in 41% of those living with disabilities dying at Grenfell. It left them with no personal evacuation plan and no means of escape. They didn’t stand a chance. This report is a disgrace. Disabled people have the right to leave their homes safely.


“The government must implement the recommendation from the phase 1 report of the Grenfell Inquiry and ensure personal evacuation plans for disabled residents.”


Key recomendation


London fire brigade (LFB) commissioner Andy Roe described PEEPs as a “key recommendation” from the inquiry and urged the government to prioritise it.


Phil Murphy, a former firefighter and high-rise safety consultant, noted: “Stay put is not an evacuation strategy. It never was… To carry on pretending that it works is joke. 78 people [72 at Grenfell, six at Lakanal House in 2009] have died after being told to stay put.”


Out of touch


Elspeth Grant, a fire evacuation advisor, told Inside Housing: “Disabled residents in general needs accommodation have yet again been failed by this government. The government proposals highlight the fact that this government is clearly unaware that councils and housing associations are successfully implementing PEEPs across their property portfolios.  Further evidence of just how out of touch this government is with the lives and priorities of 18% of their voters.”


The successful implementation of PEEPS demonstrates that they are entirely practical but there have been reports that some social landlords are failing to prepare plans. It is vitally important that plans are prepared and kept up to date.


Unite will represent staff concern where there are safety failures and will work with tenant and resident groups such as SHAC.


For earlier report on the inquirey see here.


Paul Kershaw, Chair Unite housing workers branch LE1111


29 May 2022



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