Staff members from Basingstoke based Evacusafe UK Ltd. Recently presented at the recent Fire Protection Association member’s meeting at Fire Sector Summit, which took place at The Royal College of Surgeons, in London on 17 and 18 October.
The 30 minute presentation focused on the Safe Evacuation of buildings for the mobility impaired, rather than specifically about the role of evacuation chairs, but common issues, problems and concerns we’ve come across over the years including different types of stairs within a building, the best equipment fit for purpose, PEEPs & GEEPs, changing existing safety plans.
Topics from the other invited speakers covered a variety of subjects ranging from the fire safety of commercial buildings to the monitoring of automated extinguishing systems.
David Della-Savina, Sales & Marketing Manager for Evacusafe, said “The Fire Protection Association (FPA) is the UK’s national fire safety organisation working tirelessly to identify and draw attention to the dangers of fire and the means by which their potential for loss is kept to a minimum”.
It is not just a fire you need an evacuation chair for; evacuation chairs are often purchased for ‘Fire Safety’, however there are other reasons why such equipment might be needed. For example, a simple but all too common problem of a lift breaking down – perhaps not an emergency evacuation but leaving no other way of getting a person downstairs, which can be extremely frustrating to those who suffer from impaired mobility.
One particular customer of Evacusafe was used as a prime example. Their café on the first floor is served by a single lift that had broken down 8 times in one year and required the use of an evacuation chair to get those customers who couldn’t descend the stairs otherwise. Other situations include security threats such as bomb & terrorist attacks those seen in Brussels & France this last year.
It was highly emphasized that it’s of paramount importance to consider everyone in such situations, whilst not neglecting those who may be disabled or mobility impaired. A shopping center alone may hold 1000’s of shoppers and staff at any one time, with an undetermined proportion of mobility impaired people who may need assistance to leave the building. The same goes for other public areas such as transport hubs, airports and tube/railway stations to name but a few.