Evacuation for schools

The Equality Act 2010 and the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005 requires schools and other education establishments to have arrangements in place for their disabled students. Within the classroom setting, this is easily achieved with work being planned to suit certain needs and extra help being given. However, in an emergency without the proper equipment, such as evacuations chairs, pupil safety is at risk of being affected.

Staff employed in any educational premises must know their role in an emergency and the steps needed to make sure everyone gets evacuated safely from a building. Providing an evacuation plan to all staff, pupils and visitors are therefore legal requirements of the Fire Safety Order. The Order requires a fire risk assessment that carefully considers those especially at risk.

Direct Access has worked with hundreds of schools since we were established in 2004 to create a safe environment where students can learn. It is highly recommended that in addition to specialist evacuation equipment being installed, that staff are trained in operation and that equipment is serviced in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

Our senior access consultant Tom Morgan, who is himself a person with a disability, believes “our evacuation chair range was designed by disabled people with the comfort and flexibility for disabled people who need to use the chairs. The orange colour scheme reminiscent of life jackets on ships provides vital reassurance to neurodiverse users who may be unsettled during an unexpected evacuation.”

All evacuation aids must be in a designated refuge point specified in the building’s fire strategy. Each fire exit must accommodate all building users and all evacuation equipment readily available and accessible at the refuge point.

Our range of solutions ensures that we can supply the best solution for your premises. These could be chairs for downwards descent or ones that can both ascend and descend – useful for lower-level floors.

Tom added; “What makes us unique is all of our team of Installation and Service Engineers have a disability – therefore there’s added value in the Direct Access range creating employment opportunities for disabled people.”

“It is typically recommended that any chair installation includes training that gives both the operator and evacuees the confidence to exit premises quickly. I believe the Direct Access training programme developed by disabled people facilitates this effectively.”

For a free evacuation site survey or advice on your education establishment: 0845 056 4421 or email

Click the button below to view the Direct Access Evacuation Chair range.

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