Successful trade fair at London Build 2017 with Evacuation Chute

A huge number of visitors at the London Build 2017 show at the Olympia used the opportunity to test our Axel Thoms Escape Chute, a high-rise evacuation chute used for fire and emergency evacuations. It was great to see the support from Councils, architects, fire safety professionals and construction companies who took the time to find out more about the Axel Thoms Escape Chute, which can be used for buildings of up to 120m in height.

 

 

 

While not in use, the chute is invisible from the outside. It is stored in a box underneath the designated window. It can evacuate 15 people per minute and can be used without any waiting time between subsequent users. Inside the chute there is a helix spiral that controls the decent speed of users to a safe 2m per second and keeps users at a safe distance to each other. The chute can be used by adults, pregnant women, disabled people and children over 2 years, babies and toddlers can be carried by an adult during the safe descent.

The chute has been in production for 37 years. Thousands of the chutes have been installed worldwide and in the UK, with applications in housing, offices, government buildings, hotels, and as temporary evacuation cover on construction sites.

Each Axel Thoms Escape Chute installation is unique and to ensure that you are confident in how to use an escape chute before purchase, Safelincs offers free site surveys and can carry out test-installs with portable systems that can be installed quickly and without the use of fixings. On installation of your own Axel Thoms Escape Chute suitable anchor points underneath the inside of your window or on your roof top will be used.

If you would like to know more about the Axel Thoms Escape Chute or discuss your needs, please contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 and we will be happy to arrange a visit with you.

Harry Dewick-Eisele

Harry Dewick-Eisele

Managing Director

MD and founder of Safelincs. Harry has a wealth of in-depth knowledge of all aspects of fire safety and related legislation.

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Evacuation chair training – a legal requirement?

evacchairThe Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 recognises the importance to ensure all occupants, including occupants with disabilities, have reasonable access throughout a building, and places duties on all those that provide services to the public to make changes for disabled access where needed. These adjustments need to ensure that no person is at a disadvantage and requires the responsible person to provide a means of escape for everyone, including those with a disability.

In an emergency, lifts can usually not be used for evacuation, so stairs become the main escape route from the premises. For physically disabled people this can be a problem. In this situation evacuation chairs have to be considered in your evacuation planning. They offer safe evacuation for any people unable to use stairs. For evacuation to lower floor levels the chairs are usually operated by just one person. However, there are a range of evacuation chairs available, including chairs for evacuation to higher floors, on the market and Safelincs, as an approved partner of evacuation chairs from UK manufacturer Evac+Chair, is able to provide all of these. Please visit our website to see the full range of Evac+Chair models and accessories available.

Once you have chosen an evacuation chair as part of your escape route plan, do you need to provide training for your employees? According to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998, equipment provided for use at work needs to be “used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training.” This means that the employer, building owner, or the responsible person is to ensure all appointed employees (those responsible to use equipment in an emergency) receive adequate training as to the correct use of the equipment. By simply installing evacuation equipment alone you have not necessarily satisfied your requirements as the responsible person.

Should you have to renew your fire risk assessment, checks will normally be carried out as to whether training has been given for all the fire safety equipment located in the workplace. If an evacuation chair has been installed but no training has been provided for your employees, this would be seen as a  non-compliance and risk by the assessor.

When choosing an evacuation chair training course, ensure your employees receive comprehensive theoretical and practical training from a fully qualified and experienced trainer. At Safelincs, we offer nationwide on-site evacuation chair training, suitable for up to 6 participants per course and completed on a time and date to suit you. For more information regarding our evacuation chair training, please visit: https://www.safelincs.co.uk/evacuation-chair-training/ or call our friendly customer services team on 0800 612 6537.

References:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/50/contents
http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/puwer.htm

Evacuation of Disabled Staff

Evac-Chair Evacuation ChairsDo you fully understand your responsibilities when it comes to the provision of evacuation devices? If the answer is no, Safelincs can offer you guidance, explaining the legislation linked to evacuation devices, and highlighting the products available to help you meet your legal responsibilities.

To quote from the official government document- Fire safety risk assessment – Supplementary guide: Means of Escape for Disabled People:

“Where an employer or a service provider does not make provision for the safe evacuation of disabled people from its premises, this may be viewed as discrimination. It may also constitute a failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.”

Are you confident you have covered every eventuality when it comes to your evacuation plan? Evacuation planning must account for all possible scenarios. Failure to identify and eliminate any weaknesses in your plan is likely to be judged as a criminal offence if a fire were to trap a person that would have escaped if appropriate devices had been provided.

To learn more about your responsibilities as a business owner or manager, make sure you read our comprehensive guide which distils everything you need to know into a single article.

Safelincs are committed to raising awareness of potential evacuation issues, and are on hand if you have any further questions regarding evacuation devices. We are also currently offering a substantial discount on our bestselling evacuation device to support this campaign.

If you would like to take advantage of our special offers on leading products, or require further information about any of our products, feel free to contact us via support@safelincs.co.uk, or on 0800 612 6537.

Evac+ emergency evacuation chairs

Under current legislation, it is the responsibility of the employer or building operator to ensure that their business complies with fire safety, health and safety and equal opportunity requirements.  If you employ mobility impaired persons, the responsibility of ensuring their safe escape from a multi-storey building in the event of an emergency, for example fire, can be daunting. The use of lifts in an emergency is usually not permitted and the escape route will therefore be over stairs.

There are  a number of evacuation solutions available in this situation. Safelincs offers a wide range of emergency evacuation chairs to match different types of stairs and gradients.  All of the chairs have the ability to descend flights of stairs with ease, ensuring a smooth and stress-free emergency escape for the passenger.  For the the Evac+Chair 300H MK4, 500, and 600H evacuation chairs, this is achieved through the use of specially designed friction belts.  Taking into account the distribution of the chair’s weight and load, the friction belts ensure that the chair does not slip or accelerate too rapidly during stair descent.  When the passenger has reached level ground, the operator simply deploys the back wheels and pushes the chair to the safe assembly point.

The Evac+Chair 300H MK4, 500 and 600H emergency evacuation chairs have a number of features to provide comfort and support to the user.  The “sling style” seat combined with the forehead restraint and safety buckles allow for the passenger to sit back in the chair without the worry of being tipped forward during descent down a flight of stairs.  The material of the sling seat is padded, ensuring user comfort.  For some mobility impaired persons, the movement from a wheelchair to a sling style seat can prove a difficult task.  The Evac+Chair comfy seat has been designed to clip easily on to the 300H MK4, 440 and 600H evacuation chairs, which provides a flat surface ideal for stability and support when mounting the evacuation chair.  The Evac+Chair comfy seat can be purchased as a retrofit.

Other evacuation chair accessories available are the Evac+Chair stand and storage cabinet.  These products are designed for use with the 300H MK4 emergency evacuation chair and are suitable for internal use.  The evacuation chair stand is ideal in locations where wall mounting is not an option.  The evacuation chair storage cabinet is a popular accessory used in schools, prisons and other applications where tampering may be an issue.  The cabinet is fitted with a secure key lock and can either be wall mounted or left free-standing.  Both the stand and the storage cabinet, paired with the photoluminescent sign, help to highlight the location of the emergency evacuation chair to all occupants of the building.  They also help to deter unauthorised movement from the chair’s strategically placed position.

Since the introduction of the original Evac+Chair 300H MK4 emergency evacuation chair, the manufacturers evolved the chair’s features and produced three more chairs to suit the needs of different buildings and users.  The 500 emergency evacuation chair has the ability to cope with a higher passenger payload of 440lbs/200kg, meaning that the chair can cater for a heavier person.  The specially designed friction belts have also been developed so that it is suitable for use on regular and steep 45° stairs.

The 600H evacuation chair carries the traditional benefits of the 300H MK4 model, with the addition of two extra handles suitable for up to 4 operators as needed in the event of emergency.  The inclusion of two additional handles means that the 600H chair can be used for escape locations with difficult access i.e. unmoveable obstructions, so that the passenger and chair can be lifted until the evacuation stairway is reached.  As well as for use at locations with difficult access, the 600H evacuation chair is typically installed where you may need to go up flights of stairs for escape e.g. from basement level.  The additional handles allow for the mobility impaired person to be carried, until the wheels and/or motion friction belts can be used again.

Finally, Evac+Chair has produced the IBEX TranSeat 700H evacuation chair designed to ascend as well as descend stairs.  The IBEX TranSeat has a top extendible handle, and the load bearing tracks mean that no heavy lifting is required on stairway ascent.  During ascent, the operators release the brake that may have been previously set for descent, so that they do not experience any restrictions when moving the passenger up the stairs.

It is important that operators are aware of the correct handling of any emergency evacuation chair to ensure the safety of the passenger and to avoid any injury or strain during use.  Safelincs offers on site evacuation chair training, carried out by experienced and professionally qualified trainers.  The certificated course includes both theoretical and practical training tasks and is available for a maximum number of 6 participants per session.  You can book the evacuation chair training online or call our dedicated customer service team on 0800 612 6537.

It’s the smoke that kills…

There is a fire in your house, the staircase is full of smoke preventing you from escaping – unless you have a fire escape hood.

It is worn over the head and protects the head from heat and thermal radiation, the eyes from harmful irritant gases and can provide protection for 15 minutes from the most toxic gases produced in fires including carbon monoxide, acrolein, hydrogen choloride and hydrogen cyanide. The hood is easy to use, portable and can be easily stored in your home by your bedside. It can also be taken with you for use in hotels and transportation. Make sure you buy your fire escape hood from a reputable company and check it has the right specifications and is CE marked to EN 403:1993. See our fire escape hood information sheet for detailed specifications.

Don’t miss Horizon, BBC2, 21.00, tonight – “How to survive a disaster” – the ultimate guide to disaster survival using survivor testimonies from plane crashes, ferry disasters and even 9/11 and providing a guide to increasing your chances of survival through mindset, techniques and aides including fire escape hoods.