In the case of an emergency such as a fire or terrorist threat, that requires evacuation, not only does a plan need to be in place, but also, a way to accommodate individuals with impaired mobility. Impaired mobility can mean those bound to a wheelchair, those who use a cane or walker, those on crutches, and anyone with general mobility issues.
Many companies and businesses have chosen to incorporate the use of power stair chair
to help those with mobility issues. Evacuation chairs provide an easy and effortless way to descend down a stairway. Designed to be managed by a single individual they do not necessitate the need for any heavy lifting. They are a safe and efficient way to evacuate those individuals in need of help because of mobility issues. It is available for all those experiencing mobility difficulty for any reason, even temporary mobility issues caused by surgery, pregnancy, health, or injury.
For safety reasons, during an evacuation, elevators should not be used, possibly leaving those with mobility issues trapped with no way to escape. In this situation, emergency stair chairs are the best solution. Due to their ease of ease and light weight, they help to ensure safe emergency evacuation for individuals with decreased mobility. Having these type of chairs help organizations to comply with the law as well. For the utmost in safety, the ideal scenario is a having an emergency chair located at every emergency stairway on all floors of the building.
When considering emergency evacuation chairs keep in mind the following:
Operation – The chair must be able to be operated by a single individual without any assistance or for one person to be able to assist a mobility impaired person. The best-designed chair is one that is low to the ground so it is easy to enter, open on both sides, and must not roll when the passenger is getting into it. Evacuation chairs
must be equipped with a means to maintain speed, such as a governor, to control the speed on descent. The chairs are typically made to accommodate passengers weighing up to 350 pounds, and often can carry up to 1.5 times the recommended carrying capacity.
Restraints – For safety reasons, the chairs must be equipped with restraints or safety straps or belts. As the individual occupying the chair may be unconscious or not have complete control of their limbs, they need to be safely restrained.
Stability – Obviously, the emergency chairs must be stable when descending a flight of stairs. Stopping on the descent is not recommended, however, it might be required at times. In the event it must be stopped, the chair must be able to be securely held in place.
Some evacuation chair manufacturers equip the chairs with 5-point safety harnesses and head restraints. Wheel brakes
that lock the wheels are available as well. The sad reality is that individuals with impaired mobility are at a greater risk of being trapped, being injured, or worse, death in an emergency evacuation.