We were contacted by a lift company as lifts in various blocks of flats were to be refurbished. This meant that people with reduced mobility would not be able to go to and from their flats because they couldn’t manage the stairs. The council contacted all tenants to see who would require assistance when the lifts were out of action. The lift company and the council felt is was very important to provide stair climbing solutions that were portable not fixed stair lifts, as they impact on the space available on the stairs.
They also had the case of an elderly resident who could not get back to her flat when the lift had broken and thankfully a fast food outlet let her stay there until help arrived. So access and evacuation are key issues. You may use a lift to go up and down on a day to day basis but need a contingency for lift breakdowns and emergency evacuations.
What we found
Evaccess spoke to each resident who required assistance and provided the most suitable portable stair climber for their needs. The landings were small so this was also a key factor when discussing the best solutions.
We provided Power Tracs SC-5 and Stair Mates SA-S. Tracked and easy to operate by one operator. Each resident and their family member was shown how to operate the unit and happily used the units giving them access and egress.
It does highlight that if lifts are out of action due to a fire or an emergency then these people could not have got out without the stair climbers and evacuation chairs!
The Equality Act requires people to be treated equally therefore whether disabled or not you should be treated the same.
Therefore some should not be told to stay where others are told to leave.