We have made been aware of potentially serious problem with a particular type of EVAC-chair. The chair is an EVAC + Chair 300H MK5.

The chair works using tracks that feature rubber friction belts, allowing for a single-person operation. The rubber friction belts that have been identified as the cause potential problems; if the chairs are not used for extended periods, the rubber can wrap around the rotating wheels positioned at each end of the belt. This means that the friction that slows the chair as it moves downstairs is compromised and the chair can ‘run away’ from the operator.

Following incidents at two schools in England, the manufacturer is happy to provide new friction belts. Please contact the manufacturer if you have this Chair. To reduce the risk of incidents, please ensure that all Evac Chairs are inspected annually by a competent person and that chairs are used during any practice fire drill during the year.

The two incidents referred to both involved chairs that had been stored /mounted on the wall without being used for a long time. The schools had no need for EVAC-chairs for several years since installation but when needed, they were found to be faulty.

Regards of the make and model of the EVAC-chairs, staff should be informed of the importance of checking / using the chairs regularly to maintain their function as well as keeping staff skill levels high.

EVAC + Chair 300H MK5

EVAC + Chair 300H MK5.

Potential issue

EVAC + Chair 300H MK5 potential issue showing how rubber can wrap around the rotating wheels

Rubber can wrap around the rotating wheels

Wednesday, 18th January 2023

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