The Importance Of Evacuation Chairs Physically, and Legally
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of handicap evacuation chairs? No, they do not launch handicapped individuals, with parachutes, like trained pilots, but what handicap evacuation chairs can do is safely evacuate an individual with special needs; a rescue chair, in other words.
What could an individual possibly need them for? During emergencies like fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or a power outage, specific protocols are enacted to ensure the safety of individuals. In fact, fires inside healthcare facilities have caused at least two deaths, 157 injuries and a whopping $50.4 billion in damages all within the years of 2011 and 2015 over a span of 5,750 fires per year. If you are in a multi-story building, whether visiting or working, elevators are restricted because an individual, or many, could become trapped. Some individuals that are handicapped, or were recently injured, and had their mobility hindered, and need an extra hand. This also includes individuals that are elderly and even pregnant women. Hospitals, especially, are in need of evacuation chairs when you realize that 64 percent of fire department responses were due to medical aids during 2016.
Handicap evacuation chairs fill that need. They are designed to be light-weight as well as added maneuverability down stairs. There are even alternatives in the form of sleds. Evacuation chairs are mounted on walls, folded and ready to be unfolded for the unfortunate event of an emergency. This is important because 15 percent of the globe lives with a disability.
Speaking of recently injured or special needs individuals, not only are the handicap escape chairs a need physically but also legally. Yes, legally.
In other words, if your workplace has emergency exits located, say, at the bottom of a stairway, and your workplace does not have evacuation chairs, chances are the workplace in question is not following regulations or is unaware which then puts you life in danger. Like mentioned before, elevators are restricted during an emergency. They are never used as a means of an emergency escape. Stairs, on the other hand, work just fine but if an emergency exit is located at the bottom of steps and it just so happens you have a cast on your leg, well, there is going to be an issue. Every minute counts during an emergency. It is a life and death situation.
If your workplace does not have an evacuation chair, it is prudent to be proactive and request that an evacuation chair be installed, even if you are not the individual that needs one. Couple that with NFPA 101, Life Safety Code which states that drills should be scheduled frequently in workplaces, occupied buildings and healthcare facilities so that individuals are familiar with evacuation plans.