Last edited 08 Oct 2020

Evacuation chair



[edit] Introduction

Building evacuation is the process of making sure everyone inside a building gets out safely and in a timely and controlled manner in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Buildings commonly use equipment such as fire alarms, exit signage, emergency lighting and emergency escape routes to facilitate evacuations.

Multi-storey buildings may also be equipped with evacuation chairs (also known as escape chairs, disabled evacuation chairs, stairway evacuation chairs, fire evacuation chairs or evac chairs) strategically located in protected areas such as corridors or stairways. These devices can be used to assist people with limited mobility (due to an injury, mental health condition, pregnancy or other physical condition) so they can use the stairwell and exit the building safely.

[edit] What is an evacuation chair?

An evacuation chair is a lightweight device that can assist a person with limited mobility to use a stairway. The device is meant to be operated by one person and should require minimal training. It is designed to reduce the amount of heavy lifting that could be required in the event of an evacuation.

Evacuation chairs move at a controlled speed down a portable ramp or track to transport the person to the ground. Some chairs are motorised while others are manually transported.


[edit] Legal requirements

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) states that it is up to the 'responsible person' (the person in control of the building) to provide a fire safety risk assessment. This assessment should include an emergency evacuation plan along with any evacuation chair requirements.

The assessment should be designed for all people (including those with special mobility requirements - such as visitors) who are likely to be on the premises. This is particularly important in public buildings, healthcare facilities, schools, care homes and other structures that support people with disabilities. In these types of facilities, it is up to the responsible person to make sure the evacuation chairs are in place and in proper working order.

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