Do you need Evacuation Chairs?
The thing with evacuation chairs is that if you have them then they must be maintained, and a sufficient number of people must be trained in their use.
But do you need them?
If you have any mobility impaired personnel who could not get down the stairs in the event of a fire (remember that lifts cannot be used), you need to have some way of evacuating such persons.
Some years ago standard practice was to create safe havens for mobility impaired persons whereby they would be left in the building for the Fire Brigade to rescue, however more recent Guidance from the Fire Services is that every effort must be made to evacuate everyone from the building. This being the case once you have employees with mobility impairment you must have evacuation chairs; if you don’t have employees in such circumstances so decide not to have evacuation chairs remember that anyone with short term mobility issues should not be allowed into work if they could not evacuate safely.
Ok so you do need them – what next…..
- Site it near the stairwell, pretty obvious! But don’t put it in an area that it creates a hazard for those using the stairwell.
- Ensure you have enough Evacuation Chairs, it took a while for me to twig that if the user is wheelchair bound that they would have to evacuate the building in it so it wouldn’t be available for a second person to us.
- Ensure it is maintained, no point coming to use it in an emergency to find that it is broken, I would tend to add it to your Fire Log.
- Train your staff in its use and not only that how to move persons from a wheelchair to the evacuation chair if necessary. There are no set standards for training so just ensure that you feel that your staff could step up and assist in an evacuation if necessary. Finally ensure sufficient persons are trained to undertake a possible lift of a person and movement of an evacuation chair and also sufficient persons to cover absence etc.
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To speak to a member of our team about Evacuation Chairs and training?