Alistair Bromhead: Are Evacuation Chairs Without Trained Operators a Fire Hazard Waiting to Happen?

Evacuation chairs could be life-saving in the event of a fire or other incident requiring swift evacuation. Alistair Bromhead is urging building owners to ensure there are trained staff on hand who can operate the chairs in an emergency.

Press Release ( - ASHTEAD, England - Jul 18, 2017 - During a fire risk assessment, numerous controls will be suggested, depending on the individual circumstances and building environment. Unless these are properly implemented, it will make the assessment a complete waste of time. Risk assessments are not just for show and should never just be completed in order to tick a box.

One of the requirements that usually arises following a fire risk assessment is the need for evacuation chairs. These chairs are used to transport people who are unable to make their own way from a building in the event of a fire or other emergency that requires fast evacuation from the premises. The chairs are most often used for persons who are disabled, temporarily incapacitated through injury or heavily pregnant.

Dr Alistair Bromhead is the founder of Alistair Bromhead Ltd, a nationwide provider of manual handling and health and safety training. He has become very concerned at the prevalence of evacuation chairs that are nothing more than expensive wall decorations, simple because there is no one on the premises trained to operate them.

He says, “In our work going out to provide training within organisations, we see many evacuation chairs adorning the walls of commercial premises. Through purchasing them and fixing them to a wall, the occupier feels that they are able to tick that box. However, unless staff are adequately trained to use them and the equipment is properly maintained and inspected, the chairs are, effectively, nothing more than an expensive and useless wall decoration.

“Not only must there be an adequately trained evacuation chair operator on the premises and other back-up personnel also trained and ready to put the chair to use should the need arise, the operators will also need to ensure their skills and knowledge is regularly refreshed.”

Dr Bromhead is keen to get across how skills can easily fade and confidence can wane without regular practice. “The use of an evacuation chair is, we would hope, not something that would happen on a regular basis, but there is always a possibility that a need will arise, because no one will ever know when a fire could take hold or some other incident could arise.

“Refresher training is perhaps more important for evacuation chair handling than it is for many other skills. Ideally, there should be several practices every year. Whilst it may not seem practical from a commercial point of view with resources being put under pressure and of course the cost of such training being taken into account, there is a solution.”

Evacuation Chair Training Courses

Alistair Bromhead Ltd offers a half-day course in evacuation chair training ( together with the one-day IOSH Evacuation Chair Train the Trainer course (…).

The half-day course is aimed at training staff in the use of the chairs, and the IOSH course equips staff with the ability to train others in the safe use of evacuation chairs. Once qualified, the trainers will be able to run regular refresher training courses onsite, which means cost savings all round.

Dr Bromhead says, “Evacuation chairs could be life-saving in the event of a fire or other incident. Ensure your staff are trained and keep their skills up to date on a regular basis.”

For more information on these courses call 0800 710 1099 or email

Source : Alistair Bromhead Ltd
Business Info :
Alistair Bromhead Ltd

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