Everything you need to know about Emergency Evacuation Equipment

An emergency can be defined as a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.  While you cannot know when an emergency situation will arise, you can make sure that you are prepared for any scenario.


Why is evacuation equipment necessary?

Being prepared for emergency situations is often a top priority for those working in the care sector.  Not only do care home employees have to contend with their own emergency evacuations, but they must also ensure that all residents are safely evacuated as well.

In order to conduct successful evacuations, all care home employees will need to be as efficient as possible and in some cases this will require specialist equipment.

The level of equipment required for each resident differs according to their individual needs.  Both physical and neurological issues can impact a resident’s ability to evacuate independently and, in many instances, residents will require some level of assistance.


How can you prepare for emergency evacuations?

In order to prepare for emergency evacuations, you can create Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans.

These plans help you to ensure that every resident in your home will have the appropriate equipment needed for successful evacuation.  The plans also identify the extent of assistance required with regards to the number of staff needed to operate the equipment.

We know that there are a number of different factors that you need to consider when putting together these plans, so we have created a quick guide outlining the key things to remember.




What solutions are available?

As mentioned above, care home residents will require different categories of evacuation equipment, based on their individual levels of mobility and independence.  As a result, there are several different solutions available that can assist care home employees in evacuating residents safely and efficiently.

We have put together a brief overview of the solutions available, outlining the key the benefits of each design and helping you to make the right decision for your staff and residents.


Evacuation Mats and Sledges

Evacuation mats and sledges are essentially emergency stretchers that come in a lightweight and compact design.  Often self-contained in highly visible bags, the equipment can be wall mounted making it immediately accessible and available for use in an emergency.

Evacuation mats, such as the well known Albac Evacuation Mat, feature a polypropylene base that can absorb bumps during transit and move easily over most surfaces, whereas evacuation sledges consist of two layers of foam.  The bottom layer is firm to enable smooth transition over varying surfaces and the top layer is soft to ensure comfort for the resident being evacuated.

Both products feature safety belts and a foot pocket to keep the user in place, with various handles to allow for multiple rescuer contact.  Often available in both standard and large sizes, evacuation mats and sledges are highly versatile options to consider.


Evacuation Sheets

Unlike evacuation mats and sledges, evacuation sheets are designed to be permanently placed under mattress systems.  This means that in the event of an emergency, the sheet is ready to be used immediately.  At Blueleaf, we have evacuation sheets that are suitable for static foam mattresses and dynamic air mattresses.  Evacuation sheets feature safety belts to keep the user safely in position and encompass the air mattress that the resident is already using.  This not only allows for maximum comfort during transition but also enables care home employees to act quickly.  Two people are required to handle this solution.


Evacuation Chairs

Evacuation chairs offer an alternative method for transporting residents with limited mobility downstairs.  While different evacuation chairs come with different features, all will come with safety harnesses and safety brakes as standard.  Some solutions such as the Exitmaster Elite Evacuation Chair offers additional user comfort with padded seats, arm rests and head rests.  You also have the option to select chairs with four wheels rather than two.  This improves the usability along corridors and landings.


Get in touch

If you have any questions about evacuation equipment, contact us here.

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