Disabled People Aren’t an Afterthought in Emergency Planning

CW: Death

Claddag, a campaign group, located in London wanted it to be a legal obligation for escape plans to be in place for people who would not be able to get out safely in an emergency.

However, a Home Office survey concluded that the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s proposals would be too costly and impracticable to execute. It is pursuing an alternative solution

In October 2019, the chairman of the Grenfell Inquiry recommended that owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings prepare “Peeps” (personal emergency evacuation plans) for residents with mobility disabilities or visual, hearing, or cognitive disabilities.

In the June 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster, which killed 72 people, 41% of the tower block’s disabled residents died. In response to the recommendations of the inquiry, the The Home Office has begun a consultation on whether to implement the Peeps recommendations.

Concerns regarding practicality and cost led the government to announce in May 2022 that it would not impose a legislative mandate for Peeps.

Claddag, which was created by two disabled tower-block tenants, Sarah Rennie and Georgie Hulme, sought a judicial review of the ruling in the High Court in December.

During the hearing, the Home Office’s legal representative argued that the government was still consulting on the ideas and that no final decision had been reached.

Mrs Justice Stacey announced her decision on Friday, saying that the government had opted against following the Peeps suggestion, but that it was within its rights to do so after assessing the fire-safety implications against the cost of delivering it.

Disabled people shouldn’t be forgotten when developing emergency plans. We don’t want to be left behind. The safety and well-being of a community should be a priority. If an emergency plan is developed without disabled people in mind, millions of lives are at risk.


Clarke, Hayley, and Nathan Stanley . “Disability Campaigners Lose Legal Fight over Grenfell Recommendation.” BBC News, 14 July 2023, http://www.bbc.com/news/disability-63839447.amp.

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