I recently read an article from a wheelchair user, staying at a London hotel when the fire alarms sounded during the night. The guest had not been given a PEEP on check in, and had not told anything specific about the evacuation of a permanent wheelchair user.
Fortunately the guest was an experienced hotelier, and knew that it was probably safer to stay in the room. As the alarms continued to ring for some 20 minutes, the guest heard nothing, he stayed in bed with no communication from the hotel. About 10 minutes after the alarms stopped, a manager came to the room to reassure him, and explain what had happened. He was informed the fire alarm zone was some way from his room, and that he was not in any danger.
Would it have been good practice to tell the guest this from the start? It would have been even better had the guest filled in a PEEP on checking in!
Through our visits and feedback from disabled guests, it is all to common that PEEP for those with special needs are not routinely completed.
A PEEP determines the evacuation procedures for any guests with a disability; this could include mobility issues, hearing, visual impairment or those with learning difficulties.
Once it has been identified that a guest is at greater risk because of a special need, then a PEEP form should be completed. The form should be signed by the guest and is an agreement, on the course of action to be taken should an evacuation be required.
The PEEP is an important document for both the hotel and disabled guest. So why is that disabled guests are rarely asked to complete one?