Evacuation Mats, Sheets, or Chairs – Which Should You Get?

For emergency preparedness in hospitals, high-rise & public buildings, malls, schools, etc., a critical consideration is the choice of evacuation equipment.

Evacuation equipment is essential for ensuring swift and safe evacuation of individuals during emergencies such as fires, natural disasters, or medical incidents. It provides the necessary tools and support to assist vulnerable individuals, maintain compliance with regulations, and mitigate risks, ultimately safeguarding lives and promoting peace of mind in critical situations.

Evacuation mats, sheets, and chairs are among the essential tools to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of mobility-impaired & unconscious people during emergencies.

But which option is the right one for your facility? Let’s explore the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

Why Schools Need Evacuation Mats

1. Versatility: Evacuation mats are suitable for usage on various surfaces, such as outdoor terrain, stairs, and floors. 

2. Usability: They can accommodate patients with limited movement and require little training. 

3. Unconscious people: The best tools for evacuating bedridden, critically injured, or unconscious individuals. 

4. Rapid Deployment: Evacuation mats are perfect for emergencies because of their rapid deployment. 

1. Dependency on Staff Strength: To move victims, evacuation mats usually require manual handling and physical strength from onlookers & colleagues. 

Evacuation equipment for hospitals

1. Compatibility with Hospital Beds: Evacuation sheets are used with hospital beds, long-term care facilities, etc., for seamless patient transfer.

2. Comfort: Patients can remain on their beds during an evacuation, providing a familiar and comfortable environment.

3. Support for Immobilized Patients: Evacuation sheets can accommodate patients unable to move independently, ensuring their safety during evacuation.

1. Dependence on Staff Strength: Evacuation mats typically require manual handling and physical strength from healthcare staff to transport patients. Where patients are large or heavier, or when there is a shortage of staff trained in evacuation procedures, using evacuation mats may be less efficient or even impractical. This dependency on staff strength could potentially delay the evacuation process in emergencies. 

1. Stair Descent Capability: An advantage of evacuation chairs is their ability to safely descend stairs during evacuations. These chairs have features such as tracks or wheels that allow for smooth and controlled movement downstairs. This capability is crucial in multi-story buildings where traditional evacuation methods may be impractical or unsafe.

2. Maneuverability: With compact design and wheels, evacuation chairs are highly maneuverable, allowing for efficient evacuation in confined spaces.

3. Independence: Evacuation chairs enable patients to be evacuated without assistance from healthcare workers, promoting independence and dignity.

1.   Training Requirement: Proper training is essential for using evacuation chairs safely and effectively. Staff need training in the correct techniques for deploying, operating, and navigating evacuation chairs, especially on stairs. Without adequate training, there is a risk of accidents or injuries during evacuation procedures.

2.   Cost: Evacuation chairs typically represent a higher initial investment compared to other evacuation equipment like mats or sheets. Additionally, continuing costs for maintenance and training should also be considered. For facilities with budget constraints, the initial cost of purchasing evacuation chairs may be prohibitive, leading them to opt for alternative evacuation methods.

Ultimately, the choice between evacuation mats, sheets, or chairs depends on various factors, including the layout of your facility, patient needs, and budget.

In some cases, combining these options may be the most effective approach to ensure comprehensive emergency preparedness.

At Levande Healthcare, we offer a range of evacuation equipment which includes evacuation mats and evacuation sheets made by TETCON to meet the diverse needs of buildings and healthcare facilities. Contact us today to learn more about our evacuation solutions and find the right fit for your facility.

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