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In the event of a fire or situation requiring the evacuation of a building, a means to evacuate those individuals with reduced mobility must be in place. Many buildings provide what is called an area of refuge that provides a temporary place of safety until first responders arrive to transport the individual with mobility issues. Often these areas of refuge are located on the landing of emergency stairs.

The ideal solution is to provide an chair lifts for elderly. An evacuation chair is a piece of equipment designed for smooth and easy descent of stairways. The chairs are designed to be manageable by one person helping the individual and do not require heavy lifting The chairs provide an efficient and safe means of evacuating people who need assistance, due to restricted mobility, for any reason. These may be individuals that are elderly, wheelchair bound, pregnant women, or people with temporary conditions or immobility due to surgery, accidents or health conditions.

In the event of a fire or an earthquake, for example, elevators should not be operated, therefore, those unable to escape without assistance may become trapped. The emergency chair is the ideal solution. Their light weight and ease of operation allow them to move effortlessly down stairways to help ensure the fast and safe evacuation of mobility impaired people. Having evacuation chairs in a facility is in compliance with the law as well. For the highest level of safety, an emergency chair should be located on each floor near the emergency stairs of the building.

Considerations when evaluating emergency evacuation chairs:

Single user operation - the chair must designed so that one person can single-handedly move the passenger into the chair and take them down the stairs. The chair should be low to the ground, open on the sides, and not roll during transfer.

Evacuation chairs must have a speed governing system to control the rate of descent

Weight bearing capacity of 165 kg or 363 lbs. A safety margin of 1.5 times the rated carrying capacity is recommended.

Safety straps or restraints. Passengers may not be conscious or have control of their limbs, so the passenger needs to be secured in a safe manner.

Stability on stairs. Sometimes it is necessary to stop mid-way down the stairs. Although stopping on the stairs is not recommended, the chair must be capable of being parked on the stairway.

Other options available depending on the manufacturer include a 5-point safety harness and wheel-locking brakes. Unfortunately, those individuals with reduced mobility, for any reason, are at a higher risk of suffering injury, or worse, death, in the event of an emergency evacuation. Mobility-impaired individuals account for almost 10-percent of fire-related deaths and 2-percent of fire-related injuries.

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