How Do Evacuation Chairs Work?
Most EVAC+CHAIR evacuation chairs use specially designed friction belts which take 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 “sling style” seat featured on most EVAC+CHAIRs, 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. For wheelchair users, the EVAC+CHAIR comfy seat (available separately) has been designed to clip easily on to the 300H MK4, 500 and 600H evacuation chairs, to provide a flat surface which assists with stability and support when transferring from wheelchair to Evac+Chair.
Under current legislation, the responsible person for fire and safety within a building has a legal obligation to ensure that they comply with fire safety, health and safety and equal opportunity requirements. If someone with a mobility impairment occupies your building, 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 therefore, the escape route will most commonly be over stairs.
Safelincs offers a wide range of evacuation chairs to match different types of stairs and gradients to ensure an evacuation solution is available for everyone. All our evacuation chairs ensure a smooth and stress-free emergency escape for the passenger and are easy to operate.
Evacuation Chair Options
Evacuation chairs from EVAC+CHAIR each offer different benefits to the user. The EVAC+CHAIR 500 for example has the ability to cope with a higher passenger payload of 500lbs/227kg, meaning that the chair can cater for bariatric patients. 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 (safety belts, head restraint and easy operation), with the addition of two extra handles making it suitable for up to 4 operators as needed in the event of an emergency. The inclusion of two additional handles means that the 600H chair can be used for escape locations with difficult access i.e. immoveable 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 patient to be carried, until the wheels and/or motion friction belts can be used again.
The IBEX TranSeat 700H evacuation chair is designed to ascend, as well as descend stairs. This chair 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.
Evacuation Chair Training
Evac+Chairs are Class I Medical Devices with their installation and use regulated under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and requires users to be trained. It is also important that operators are aware of the correct handling of any 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.
Evacuation Chair Accessories
Safelincs offers a range of evacuation chair accessories including the EVAC+CHAIR stand and storage cabinet. Suitable for internal use, the evacuation chair stand is ideal in locations where wall mounting is not an option, and is designed for the EVAC+CHAIR 300H. The evacuation chair storage cabinet (also for internal use) is a popular accessory used in schools, prisons and other applications where tampering may be an issue. Suitable for a larger range of EVAC+CHAIR models, 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 evacuation chair to all occupants of the building. They also help to deter unauthorised movement from the chair’s strategically placed position. A number of additional accessories are also available that help to assist with the transfer of patients, the protection and identification of the chair and the deterrent against misuse.
What is a Transit Chair?
A transit chair is a type of wheelchair that is used to quickly manoeuvre a disabled or elderly person, often in an emergency, where the evacuation route is on one level. The slim nature of the transit chair means that evacuation along narrow passageways is possible.