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Help for users with disabilities

Guidance on using the Library and other tips for users with disabilities

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans

Most users with a disability require no special arrangements for emergency evacuations, but if you use the Library regularly and have problems using the stairs, we suggest that you come and talk to us about how to prepare your own PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) for emergency situations.

What is a PEEP?

A PEEP is an agreed plan of action that provides people who cannot get themselves out of the building unaided with the necessary information to know what to do in an emergency. It also enables us to know what level of assistance you may require. The preparation of a PEEP does not involve the unnecessary disclosure of confidential medical information; it is just an agreement about what procedures to follow. Not every person will need such a plan, but all users of the Library should make sure they know what to do in an emergency evacuation of the building

What happens in an emergency?

The fire alarm will sound throughout the building, and will be accompanied by flashing lights and an announcement that users should leave the building by the nearest safe fire exit. Members of Library staff will act as fire wardens and make a sweep of the Library floors alerting users to the need to leave and directing them to the nearest fire exits. Fire exits are marked with a green sign depicting a running man, and will lead  downstairs to the Ground Floor and out of the building to safety.

Do not try to use the lifts. When the fire alarm sounds the lifts will go to the Ground Floor, the doors will open, and the lifts will remain out of service until the emergency is over.

Safe refuge areas

If you have any mobility problems which mean that you are unable to leave the building on your own using the stairs, you should make your way to one of the fire  protected Refuge Points indicated on each floor by a green sign showing a wheelchair symbol. The Refuge Points are also indicated on all Library Floor plans.

These Refuge Points are designed to provide 30 minutes protection from smoke and fire; the fire brigade will arrive within minutes of the alarm sounding. All refuge points contain an  intercom which will allow you to maintain contact with University security.

As part of an individual PEEP we may need to talk to you about what assistance you may require and what steps might need to be taken if an evacuation from the Refuge Point is deemed necessary before the arrival of the fire brigade.

Contact us

If you have any concerns about what to do in an emergency, or if you would like to know more about preparing a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan contact the Library by emailing library@reading.ac.uk to make an appointment.