Tips for Using Evacuation Chairs in Hospitals and Care Homes
Nobody wants to be in the middle of any disaster or emergency. However, these incidents are unpredictable and could cause significant damage to lives and property, especially in larger buildings and establishments catering to many people.
You can never really know when emergencies will strike, so thorough preparation is of utmost importance.
One essential aspect of disaster preparedness is crafting an evacuation plan. In times when the establishment is no longer safe, such as in instances of fires or earthquakes, people need to have a safe way to get out.
However, creating evacuation plans could be challenging when working with differently-abled people, the sick, or the elderly, such as in the case of hospitals and care homes.
An evacuation chair or evac chair is valuable equipment for such cases. Read on to learn more about how evac chairs work and how they can help you.
What Are Evacuation Chairs and How Do They Work?
Evacuation chairs are tools that help people with reduced mobility move through stairs during emergency evacuations.
Sure, elevators are much more convenient than taking the stairs. However, many emergencies could cause elevators to lose power and shut down, leaving people with no choice but to take the stairs.
Though many people could easily walk down some stairs, this task could be particularly challenging for those with reduced mobility. This is where evacuation chairs come in.
Evacuation chairs help people with disabilities or reduced mobility to move through stairs more easily without causing undue stress to them or the people assisting them.
These chairs are designed to allow just one person to move another individual through staircases with relative ease, ensuring the safety of all people within the hospital or care home.
Your institution could include getting a specific number of evacuation chairs during your evacuation planning sessions. Hospitals and nursing homes are often filled with the sick, injured, or elderly, with conditions or situations limiting their ability to move quickly and comfortably.
Benefits of Using Evacuation Chairs in Hospitals & Care Homes
Hospitals and care homes provide essential services to people who are likely more physically vulnerable than others. They would significantly benefit from using these chairs during emergencies that require evacuation.
Below are five benefits your institution could get from using evacuation chairs in an emergency.
Every single person deserves to stay safe during emergencies or calamities. However, not everyone is physically capable of navigating staircases, especially when crowds of people are doing the same thing.
Evacuation chairs make it easier for staff members or other individuals to assist people with reduced mobility and take them to a safer location.
Make sure to assess beforehand who is at risk during an emergency. People who may need evacuation chairs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- People with visual impairments
- The elderly
- Individuals with injuries
- People with arthritis or joint-related problems
- Pregnant individuals
- People with heart or respiratory problems
- Anyone who has trouble navigating stairs rapidly
Having evacuation stair chairs on standby in your hospital or care home helps ensure the safety of the residents, patients, and staff.
Since these chairs help make the evacuation process more efficient, it helps everyone in the building navigate your evacuation route quickly. This reduces the chances of anyone being left behind for longer than they should.
Without evacuation chairs, moving mobility-impaired individuals could be challenging, especially in time-sensitive situations like fires, floods, or earthquakes.
The convenient design and mechanisms of evacuation chairs help make the process more comfortable for everyone involved—the patient and the person assisting them.
The person being moved could lay back comfortably on the chair while an assistant maneuvers down the stairs and through the building.
Ease of Use
Different types of evacuation chairs may have slight differences in structure or operation. Still, all of them are pretty straightforward to use.
After all, emergencies and precautionary practices like fire drills and fire safety run-throughs require quick and decisive action. Having a simple yet effective tool is what you need most.
To use an evacuation chair, you only need to secure the patient onto the chair and gently push them as you descend the stairs with them. It works much like how you would operate a wheelchair. The chair’s structure will guide you smoothly with little to no heavy lifting.
The design of evacuation chairs allows you to maneuver them across different locations—whether climbing up or down some stairs or travelling across flat ground. This simplicity allows you to save time and keep moving, which is essential in emergencies.
Tips on How To Use Evacuation Chairs in Hospitals and Care Homes
Acquiring emergency evacuation chairs for your healthcare facility or care home is essential. However, you should also put equal weight on training staff members to use them properly to maximize their benefits.
Get a Basic Understanding of Evacuation Chairs
Evacuation chairs usually come with instructional materials such as videos or manuals upon purchase. Study these materials to thoroughly understand the particular chairs you acquired.
Different models of evacuation chairs may have additional operational requirements. Some could work with only one person, while others require two or more people to maneuver the chair.
Prepare an Emergency Evacuation Plan
An emergency evacuation plan is vital for any healthcare facility or establishment.
Make sure to incorporate the usage of evacuation chairs during the planning process or make necessary revisions to your plan if the chairs have been newly acquired.
Learn Proper Techniques on How To Use Evacuation Chairs
The company from which you bought your evacuation chairs would also likely offer training courses on how to use them properly. Take advantage of these courses, and ensure that the knowledge you get is successfully relayed to relevant staff members.
Knowing how to use your chairs properly ensures a safe evacuation process.
Practice the Process of Transferring From a Wheelchair to an Evacuation Chair
Wheelchair users will often need evacuation chairs during emergencies, so you and your staff must focus on learning how to transfer people safely from the wheelchair to the evacuation chair.
The process will depend on the type of evacuation chair you have. Some models allow patients to move independently into the evacuation chair, while others require assistance from designated people.
Let the Evacuation Chair Do the Work
Evacuation chairs are often designed for relatively effortless movement when used on stairs or other locations. You don’t need to do a lot of heavy lifting to transport patients from one place to another.
If the process feels difficult or takes a lot of effort, you might need to work on your technique.
Did you know?
Check Evacuscape for the Best Quality Evacuation Chair
Thorough emergency planning combined with the right evacuation equipment will significantly help your chances of safe evacuation in the event of an emergency.
An emergency evacuation chair is a significant investment to help ensure the safety of your patients, residents, and staff in whatever emergency you may find yourselves in.
Our state-of-the-art evacuation chairs here at Evacuscape help you address this need.
Aside from providing quality products, our team is always available to answer any questions and provide sound advice to help enhance your evacuation procedures and strategies.
When it comes to hospital and care home safety, there’s nothing more important than being prepared for emergencies. Investing in an Evacuscape escape chair will allow you to be better prepared. Contact us today!
FAQs on Using Evacuation Chairs in Hospitals and Care Homes
How do you use an evacuation chair?
The exact way of using an evacuation chair usually depends on the model or the manufacturer of the chair. To use a basic chair, you only need to place the patient onto the evacuation chair and move them as needed. These chairs are designed to make this process easier than other transport methods.
What are some of the most common pieces of equipment for evacuation?
Some common equipment for evacuation includes ladders, escape hammers, fire doors, fire alarms, other alarm systems, evacuation chutes, and evacuation chairs.
Is it a legal requirement for a hospital to have an evacuation chair?
Evacuation chairs are not explicitly named in any workplace safety law. However, they help hospitals comply with prescribed legal safety and emergency measures standards.