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Tomorrow’s Health & Safety ask evacuation experts, Evacusafe Ltd, for their top ten tips for evacuations.

With its Excel Chair chosen as the preferred evacuation chair for all stadia and villages for the London Olympics, and recent clients including Sainsbury’s, Liverpool Football Club and Arcadia, Evacusafe UK are experts when it comes to effective and safe evacuations.

“Health and Safety is our business; not just compliance to legislation but also the wellbeing of the people around us,” explains Tony Gill, Director of Evacusafe.

“We invest time and resources into our own ongoing education to ensure health and safety regulations are covered, but also exploring the practical advice that businesses need to know to implement health and safety throughout their organisations in an effective manner.”

In the event of an emergency evacuation, you need to be prepared, so Evacusafe have a top ten things to consider to make sure you’re not only prepared, but safe:

1) Make sure you have a sound, workable evacuation plan. This is the starting point where everything else should feed from

2) Ensure that it is relayed to all staff. No point having a good procedure that nobody knows about.

3) Make certain that it is up to date and relevant.


Have routes or call points changed? Where are the assembly points?

4) Sign everyone in and out including visitors and contractors. This way you will know who is and who is not in the building if you have to evacuate.

5) Staff training - Fire Wardens and Fire Marshalls can play an essential role in assisting in an evacuation.

6) Management support - getting senior managers to “buy into the culture” and support the staff both in practice time and financially.

7) Provide the proper equipment for evacuating mobility impaired persons. Evacuation Chairs and Sliders are an invaluable aid.

8) Keep all equipment serviced and workable, no point in having the kit if it fails on the day.

9) Place all evacuation equipment in the correct areas. No point having Evacuation Chairs located on the ground floor if you are in a 10-storey building.

10) Fire Drills - ensure these are carried out twice a year as a bare minimum. Change the months, have them in winter as well as summer and change the times as well.

So the next time you consider your evacuation plan, make sure you turn to these top tips.


Karen Asbury reports from safety seminars from this year’s TWM show:

Rob Greenfield of GSH Group plc said:

“People need to pay more attention to this area. All sorts of people need assistance, and not just people with long term disabilities. It may be that someone needs moral support, or support for a pregnant woman. There is a great deal of confusion over responsibilities, and a real lack of knowledge and understanding.”

Jean Hewitt, a Chartered FM Surveyor from the BIFM Health & Safety Special Interest Group said:

“You need to do a risk assessment for people who

need help and then a generic one for people who may come into the building, but it’s not happening. Over 400 pieces of legislation has come from Europe relating to FMs in the past 15 years and it is hard to change our UK laws when we are being dictated to by Europe so yes it is confusing.”

“There is a real confusion over the fire brigade coming in to get disabled people. It is not their responsibility. It is never okay to leave someone in the refuge. Make sure you have good signage and talk to the brigade if this happens. If you could not have foreseen this situation, the fire brigade will surely rescue people, but if you could have foreseen it, then you’re in trouble.”

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