Every business, no matter its size, needs to have an emergency response plan. In fact, in most locations, it’s the law. The success of an emergency response plan hinges on proactively identifying the hazards and risks you’re most likely to encounter in your business. Risks may range from damage to infrastructure, human threat, the potential for a hazardous materials leak, or an extreme weather event.
Once hazards have been identified, an effective response plan involves a four-pronged approach:
- Prevention or mitigation.
- Response, and
Emergency response plans will detail how to respond based on a specific emergency. They’ll contain maps, floor plans, contact lists of emergency personnel, and the location of emergency tools — to name just a few elements.
An evacuation chair is one of the lesser-discussed — though crucial — tools that businesses should own in case of an emergency. Here, we’ll detail the role that an emergency chair plays, and why they’re a necessity should an evacuation occur.
What Is an Evacuation Chair?
An evacuation chair — otherwise known as an escape chair — is an indispensable piece of equipment that allows for the safe evacuation and rescue of individuals who have challenges with their mobility. In instances of power loss where elevators may be out of commission and in cases of injury, emergency evacuation stair chairs are instrumental in transporting these individuals to safety.
An evacuation chair has wheels at the front and rear. It loosely resembles a stroller, except for the friction tracks that help the driver to maneuver and control the chair while descending stairs. It has two modes: transport and descent.
The chairs are easy to mount on the wall at a refuge point — the location where those in need will await aid — and take up very little space.
Who Needs an Evacuation Chair?
Individuals who are physically disabled and require the use of a wheelchair would require the use of an evacuation chair, as may seniors, pregnant persons, and temporarily injured people — either from a pre-existing injury or one incurred onsite during an emergency.
In any of these instances, these individuals will experience difficulties safely descending stairs during a potentially hurried and stressful evacuation. Having a chair (or chairs) onsite is fundamental to safely transport them to a safe zone.
Escape Chairs Offer an Inclusive Emergency Response Plan
Being equipped to commute individuals in need to safety during an emergency is crucial to offering an inclusive emergency response plan where everyone can exit the building quickly and safely.
While you may assume that you have no one on staff who would require an escape chair, remember that having a chair may be necessary for a new recruit. You may also have visiting clients and members of the public who might have mobility issues; moreover, remember that injuries may be sustained during an evacuation, and an escape chair would prove invaluable.
An evacuation chair plays an instrumental role in the safe evacuation of all personnel during an evacuation. They offer a cost-effective approach to an inclusive emergency plan; the liability costs of an unsafe building evacuation are sure to outweigh the immediate investment of purchasing chairs. And they showcase a progressive attitude in how your company responds during an emergency — which is sure to keep team members and clients at ease.