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Evacuation Chairs For Emergency Situations

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

When an emergency strikes it is imperative that everyone is evacuated from the scene as quickly as possible but when those in danger are in wheelchairs, in high-rise buildings that can pose a problem. During an incident it is quite normal for lifts to be out of order and when time is of the essence moving a wheelchair downstairs can prove difficult.

This is where evacuation chairs have a very important role to play. Evacuation chairs and trucks are essential for assisting people with mobility problems in exiting a dangerous building. There are a number of devices available on the market that aid the descent of stairwells, supporting and safely conveying people out of harms way.

These are three basic design principles employed in the manufacture of emergency evacuation chairs:-

Chair Supports The standard wheelchair with supporting frame and handles attached to an existing chair. These can be used normally on flat, level ground but when it becomes necessary to negotiate a flight of stairs the fold away handles are deployed and two people are able to carry the chair up or down the stairs. Using an existing wheelchair makes them more manoeuvrable than stair climbers in tight corridors and narrow passageways.

Climbing Platform The second method is a stair climbing platform, which has wheeled or tracked bases that enable the user to be gently and securely lowered downstairs. The beauty of these devices is that a wheelchair user can remain in their own chair as it is placed and secured onto the platform. These can be operated by a single person and often have a breaking system that makes its use completely safe.

Evacuation Chairs The third design is a motorised chair specifically manufactured for climbing and descending stairs. A strong, stable chassis supports a built in comfortable chair and wheels and tracks are used to carefully travel over each step. These powered stair climbers are manageable enough for even a slightly built person to be able to successfully operate them during an emergency.

Considerations when choosing an evacuation chair are the possible number of chairs required during an emergency, storage when not in use, ease of setting up when required. When an incident occurs you need to have enough chairs available, trained staff proficient in assisting users and chairs fit for purpose. Carrying a wheelchair and user down 18 flights would be an arduous undertaking so this is when a gravity-assisted chair is an ideal solution. Evaluating the best method requires a number of circumstances and parameters that need to be looked into but there are a wide selection of solutions available.

Thankfully Alex has never needed an evacuation chair himself but he has participated in evacuation chair training and design.

Source: EzineArticles
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