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Fire Evacuation In High Rise Building

We Can ALL Evacuate Together – Fire Safety – CD7

The Case

Sarah’s Current  Situation- evacuation plan and fire safety

I’ve been living with my parents since March and they have been providing my 24-hour care. I need to return home on 18th for a week and give mum a break. One of my PAs has offered to get a Covid test and live-in with me at my flat in B’ham.

The trouble is, one of my building’s board directors (a fellow owner occupier) confirmed today that tests have confirmed that the lift to my 13th floor flat is not a fire-fighting lift.

I cannot walk, stand or transfer. My board would like to urgently buy an Evac chair – ideally before I return home.

Firstly, someone would need to lift me onto it if it was ever needed but in the event of a fire I know someone would do it! I’m quite small and weight about 5 stone. I can verbally explain how best to lift me.

Evacuation Chair Styles

The thing I’m nervous of is the style of the Evac chair. I cannot support my head when tipped back and need a head rest. I’m also unable to sit up unaided so would need quite several straps to hold me up.

I wondered if there’s such a thing as a child size one maybe? I’m only 135cm tall.

My board is very very anxious for my safety – which is comforting and kind – but I don’t want the agent to buy a standard chair in panic for a 6 foot bloke that is a waste of our precious pennies!

Can I possibly ask your advice please?

See the video of Sarah and evacuating in the CD7, securely strapped in with 3 straps. in a braked model 2021 Sarah Evacuation in progress

What we found

Fire safety and evacuation is so important, yet disabled people are still told to stay in a refuge area or ‘stay put’.

The key question is- ‘would you ask your friends and relatives to ‘stay put’ or leave them without the correct means of escape, to take them to a place of safety?

Sarah contacted a PEEPs specialist who recommended using an evacuation chair. We were then contacted as the CD7 has more safety features and is easier to operate.

Sarah could transfer with the assistance of a hoist in her property and with the budget available the CD7 was the ideal choice.

The stairs and landings were also suitable.

There are powered units available but were not chosen because of budget constraints.

What we used

A comprehensive Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEPs) was completed for Sarah by a specialist company. This is essential for people who require assistance to evacuate a building. Many people have not had a PEEPs completed, often told it is not required but why wouldn’t you want a safe means of escape!

2021 Sarah Evacuation in progress

Our CD7 manual evacuation chair that is easy to operate and has three wide straps to safely protect the user. The braked operation of the CD7 also assists with the smooth operation and reduced fatigue of operators, as the chair does the work.

With different PA’s to train then it is easy to cascade the training of the CD7 to her support group because of the simple and safe operation of the CD7.


Training is usually for 4 people in one session however, this has changed slightly with Covid so that we can have the best social distancing. It is ‘hands on’ operation of the use of the chair on their own scape route.

Training and use of any evacuation equipment is essential so that it becomes second nature.

‘Jack was very thorough and reassuring today – my PA, Deb, is feeling really confident. Also, I’m glad my parents were there to watch so they left me here feeling reassured.

Thank you both, so very much!’

“Thinking about emergency evacuation is a bit like making a will, no-one wants to do it, but everyone should. As a wheelchair user living in a high rise flat, I put it off for far too long and wish I had not. The team listened to my concerns without judgement and helped find a solution which works for me, and my care team, if I ever need to evacuate. I sleep soundly now!”

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