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How to reduce risks when using evacuation chairs

Reducing Risks in the Use of Evacuation Chairs: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to building safety and emergency preparedness, evacuation chairs are indispensable tools that ensure the safe exit of all occupants, including those with mobility impairments. However, the use of the chairs carries inherent risks that must be effectively managed. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore strategies to reduce risks when using the chairs, enhancing safety in your building.

Understanding the Importance of Risk Reduction

Evacuation chairs are vital tools for evacuating individuals with mobility impairments during emergencies. Nevertheless, their usage can pose risks if not managed properly. Reducing these risks is essential for several reasons:

  1. Safety: The primary objective is to ensure the safety of both the chair user and the operator during emergency escapes. Reducing risks minimizes the likelihood of accidents or injuries.
  2. Compliance: Regulatory requirements in many regions, including the United Kingdom, necessitate the provision of safe-exit facilities for individuals with disabilities. Compliance with risk reduction strategies is often a legal obligation.
  3. Efficiency: Effective risk reduction measures promote the efficient use of the chairs, ensuring that individuals can be evacuated swiftly and safely during emergencies.

Key Strategies for Reducing Risks

Reducing risks associated with evac chair usage involves several key strategies:

1. Proper Training and Education

One of the most effective ways to mitigate risks is through proper training. Operators and building staff responsible for using evac chairs should undergo comprehensive training, which includes:

  • Chair operation: Understanding how to operate the chair, including deploying it on stairwells.
  • Transferring individuals: Techniques for safely transferring individuals from wheelchairs or other mobility aids to the chair.
  • Navigating stairwells: Proper techniques for navigating stairwells while using the chair.

Regular refresher training is also crucial to keep skills up to date.

2. Regular Maintenance Checks

Your chairs should undergo regular maintenance checks to ensure that all components are in proper working condition. This includes inspections of moving parts, wheels, brakes, and the chair’s overall condition. Maintenance should be carried out according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Any issues discovered during inspections should be promptly addressed.

3. Emergency Preparedness Plans

Emergency preparedness plans should include provisions for individuals with mobility impairments. Users should be included in emergency escape drills and procedures. This can help reduce panic and confusion during actual emergencies.

4. Clear Communication

Effective communication is vital during rapid egress. Operators should communicate clearly with chair users, explaining the evacuation process and offering reassurance. Compassion and a calm approach are essential during high-stress situations.

5. Accessibility and Storage

Escape chairs should be stored in designated locations that are easily accessible during emergencies. Ensure that these locations are well-marked and that chairs are not obstructed by clutter or other items.

Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Compliance with evacuation chair safety standards is crucial for risk reduction. In the United Kingdom, standards such as BS 9999, BS 8300-2, and BS 5588-8 provide guidance on fire safety and accessible building design. Ensuring that your chairs meet these standards is a fundamental part of risk management.


Reducing risks when using evac chairs is not just a matter of compliance; it’s about safeguarding lives and ensuring that individuals with mobility impairments have a safe means of escape during emergencies. By implementing proper training, regular maintenance, clear communication, and compliance with safety standards, you create a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan that enhances safety for all building occupants.

For professional guidance and top-quality chairs that meet safety standards, contact Evacusafe, the trusted provider of safety solutions in the United Kingdom. We are committed to enhancing safety and security in diverse settings and are here to assist you in your safety efforts.

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