In emergencies, preparedness is crucial. One of such steps is acquiring emergency evacuation devices.

Now, you might be puzzled that you don’t have physically impaired employees. So, how about your customers?

That asides, in a crisis, fear brims. As such, the chances are that one of your occupants might sprain his ankle and be temporarily immobile. 

Another case is anxiety shock. Imagine an occupant with pyrophobia (the fear of fire). Such a person would need your help escaping a fire scene.

Besides, evacuation devices could be a stop-gap for lift failures.

So, yes you need evacuation devices. However, before you go all out to purchase these vital utilities, check out what you need to know.

3 Factors To Consider When Purchasing Emergency Evacuation Devices

1.Volunteers & Training

The first consideration to note is the people to drive the evacuation aids. By now, you have your response team leaders.

Yet, you need more action leaders. One of such will be the volunteers to drive your aids.

Once you identify those willing to help, you should schedule training for them. That way, you can ensure that these volunteers have the first-hand, practical knowledge to assist the immobile occupants.

Regarding training, you should consult the manufacturers’ manual of your choice of emergency equipment. Also, note that the instructions might vary from one equipment/manufacturer to another.

The last thing to consider regarding volunteer is the type of your desired evacuation aids:

  • Track-type devices: are mechanized. Here one volunteer is enough. He wouldn’t even do much work than to guide the tool.
  • Carry-type devices: require more than one person to actively carry the assisted occupants. In that case, you will need up to more than 4 carriers, depending on the weight of the evacuatee.

2. Your Walkways

The second thing you’d appropriate is to check if your desired devices fit the features of your stairways and corridors. For example, the width span of evacuation chairs is between 16.8inches and a max of 23 inches (National Institute of Standards and Technologies).

Mind you, that’s just the width. How about the turning radius? Will your stairway accommodate such extended width?

Besides, the chances are that others would likely use the stairs simultaneously as you use the evacuation devices. Yet, there is the case of the volunteer assisting the immobile occupant.

So, you see: you need adequate spacing across your walkways. Else, you could realize a high number of accidents even while getting to safety.

So, how can you ensure that everyone remains safe?

The best bet is to do a mock evacuation. Then, validate these concerns:

  • Can the stretchers or chairs move without hindrance across your hallways?
  • Will the evacuated occupant and volunteers be comfortable?
  • Can other occupants use the same hallway as the device users and drivers? If no, what other alternatives are there?

Once you can provide answers to those questions, you can say bye to accidents and injuries during crisis aversion.

3. Storage & Maintenance

Here, you should consult your emergency evacuation plan. Ensure that the tools are in the most accessible place possible.

Also, consult the standard bodies for emergency evacuation to know the United States requirements on maintenance duties and the proper storage.

Now, you can go ahead and purchase the evacuation devices of your choice. Good luck!

Related article: How To Ensure Safety For Your Customers And Employees During Emergencies