Evacuation Mats, Sheets And Chairs – Which Are Best?Aspire GB
There are a number of emergency evacuation options available to transport those who are less mobile to safety in an emergency. Whether they are your patients, residents or visitors, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone on your premises can be safely evacuated in a dignified manner.
With many emergency evacuation solutions on the market, it’s important to choose carefully. The best type of equipment is the one that is best suited to your unique premises and the people you will be evacuating. You should refer to your risk assessment, fire escape plan and Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) to assess your requirements.
Evacuation chairs are easy to use and offer a comfortable and dignified way to move those with mobility impairments to safety. They also reduce the risk of manual handling injuries associated with carrying or lifting evacuees. Evacuation chairs can be kept at emergency refuge points for those who require one as part of their PEEP or for visitors who wouldn’t be able to use the stairs in an emergency.
To use, the evacuee is transferred to the chair and securely strapped in before moving. Evacuation chairs come in numerous forms, including budget friendly manual chairs as well as powered stair-climbers which offer a smoother journey for the user and further reduce the strain on those assisting.
Evacuation Mats and Sledges
Evacuation mats – also called evacuation pads or sledges – offer a simple and effective alternative to evacuation chairs. On premises where there is a large number of people with mobility restrictions, such as care homes and hospitals, evacuation mats are cost effective and don’t take up too much storage space. Evacuation mats can be stored in wall-mounted containers that can be accessed quickly in an emergency. The person being evacuated is transferred onto the mat and securely strapped before being moved to safety.
Evacuation Mattress Sheets
Evacuation mattress sheets are specially designed to be stored beneath a mattress, ready for immediate use. In an emergency, the straps secure around the person and their mattress for a swift and safe evacuation. This system is time-saving in an emergency and also useful if it is difficult to transfer a person from their bed to separate evacuation equipment.
Specialist bariatric evacuation mats are available for use with bariatric service users. In the same way as standard mats, straps are secured to hold an individual in place for safe evacuation. Don’t forget, using bariatric equipment may require additional assistance.
Key points to remember:
- Some evacuation methods may not suit certain individuals. For example, someone with spinal issues or brittle bones may not be able to use an evacuation mat.
- Always check doorways and corridors are accessible for your chosen equipment. Beware of tight corners that evacuation mats may not be able to turn in.
- Staff members assisting in evacuation procedures must be fully trained on the equipment they will be using and should carry out practice runs regularly.