Ultimate Evacuation Chair Training Guide
Owning an evacuation chair is one of the most inclusive and forward-thinking things that you can do to ensure the safe evacuation of all personnel during an emergency evacuation.
Over the years, cities and businesses have made huge strides in enacting legislation that requires buildings to be accessible to all people. But we still have some way to go. During emergency situations, elevators may lose power — thankfully, in just such an event, an evacuation chair will promise the safe, comfortable, and quick evacuation of individuals with mobility challenges.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to use an evacuation chair to its fullest potential, how and where to install your chair, and how to raise awareness among colleagues and team members about the evacuation chair’s benefits.
What Is an Evacuation Chair?
An emergency evacuation chair is a device that’s used to assist a wide variety of people so that they can be evacuated safely from a multi-story building in the event of an emergency situation, people including:
- those with visual impairments,
- persons with temporary injuries — like fractures and sprains,
- people with joint issues,
- pregnant persons,
- individuals with respiratory or heart problems,
- people with assistive devices, like wheelchairs, motorized scooters, and walkers, and
- anyone who has trouble navigating staircases.
An emergency could be anything from a power outage to a gas leak to a fire or flood.
It’s important to not make assumptions about people who use evacuation chairs. Some people may have invisible mobility issues that are not outwardly apparent.
Raising Awareness Internally with Your Team
First and foremost, it’s important to factor the building evacuation chair into your evacuation protocol. As mentioned above, while it might not outwardly be apparent that someone on staff or in residence needs assistance during an emergency, it’s important to always be prepared — just in case.
In any emergency, you want employees to keep calm and orderly, and to be able to help their colleagues who need assistance.
While Evacuscape chairs are easy to assemble and operate, it’s recommended that all team members are trained properly on how to use them to avoid confusion and panic during an emergency. Consider hosting evacuation chair demonstrations.
Evacuscape evacuation chairs helpfully come with an informational DVD to assist you with your training.
Where Should You Locate Your Emergency Evacuation Chair(s)?
In an emergency evacuation plan, include a refuge point. A refuge point is a place where persons requiring assistance can safely wait until help arrives. If your office is in a new build, a refuge point may already be included in the building floor plan. It’s good idea to have an evacuation chair at this location.
The evacuation plan should also include a process of notification if someone who requires assistance is waiting at the refuge point — whether there’s a two-point messaging system or to notify the fire marshal.
Evacuation chairs should be located by emergency exits of the building. It’s recommended that there’s a chair at every level. This is especially important when using evacuation chairs in hospitals or in residential nursing homes, where there will be a higher population of individuals in need.
Evacuscape evacuation chairs can be easily mounted on any wall using the provided wall bracket. Each chair also comes with a protective cover.
Understanding the Two Types of Evacuscape Evacuation Chair
Both Evacuscape evacuations chairs are made with superior, light-weight materials. Both come with a wall mount, training DVD and a protective cover.
- Our ec1 model is the more basic of the two chairs. It’s ideal for those who have limited mobility, but don’t require extra supports to be safely assisted. It comes with a lap belt and head restraint, padded seat and back rest.
- Our ec2 model is designed for those who need a little more support. In addition to the features of the ec2, it has a braking system (explained below), a five-point harness and a carry handle.
How to Use an Emergency Evacuation Chair
Evacuation chairs are designed to be deployed easily and quickly. During an emergency situation, there’s no time for confusion or ambiguity.
Here’s the five-step process showcasing just how easy it is to assemble and use an Evacuscape evacuation chair.
- Step 1. Take off the cover and remove the chair from its wall mount.
- Step 2. Undo the seatbelt to lower the seat and track.
- Step 3. Push the seat down until it is fully deployed.
- Step 4. Pull the rear wheels out until they lock into place.
- Step 5. Pull out the adjustable pins (these are black knobs; they’re located by the backrest on the horizontal side bars) and pull the adjustable handle upwards until it locks into place.
Switching Between Transit Mode to Descent Mode
Now that the chair is fully assembled, while in transit mode, the chair will glide smoothly over flat surfaces. And in descent mode, it will easily maneuver downstairs.
The user should abide by the following steps to ensure safe transport:
- Step 1. Change your hand position from a top grip (holding the top horizontal bar) to mid grip (holding the vertical side bars, just to the side of the passenger’s head rest).
- Step 2. Tilt the Evacuscape chair forward until it stops.
- Step 3. Using your foot, push the rear wheels forward, underneath the seat of the chair, until they fold into frame.
- Step 4. To descend the stairs, push the chair confidently over the first two steps — this is so our tracking system will grip the edge of the stairs and gain friction, allowing you to manage the speed of descent.
Push down on the handle so that the track sits firmly on the stairs’ edges to ensure a smooth and controlled descent.
When you reach the bottom of the stairs, gently tilt the chair forward, then pull the rear wheels back out with your foot so that the chair is now back in transit mode.
Using the Brakes
Our ec2 Model has a patented braking system which gives the driver extra control when assisting persons downstairs.
To use the brake, simply compress the second horizontal bar. The brake must then be pressed to use the chair. Letting go of the brake locks the track system, allowing for easy stops.
Returning the Evacuscape Chair to Its Storage Position
- Step 1. Pull out the adjustable pins (as mentioned in Step 5 above).
- Step 2. Push the handle down.
- Step 3. Tilt the chair forward until it stops.
- Step 4. Push the rear wheels under the frame with your foot.
- Step 5. Lift the seat up and click the seatbelt around it, holding the seat in place.
- Step 6. Hang the Evacuscape chair back on the wall bracket or in its secure storage space and replace the protective cover.
Evacuscape evacuation chairs are designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom. They’re made with durability and longevity in mind.
Owning an evacuation chair is important for an inclusive approach to emergency evacuations. If you’re now the proud owner of one or more for your building, thank you for keeping all employees, residents, patients, and pupils in mind when it comes to a safe evacuation.