Why is it important to service your evacuation equipment?


While most people can evacuate a building quickly and safely in an emergency, there are also many reasons why an individual would not be able to do so. Working evacuation equipment is the backbone of emergency response efforts for those with impaired mobility. Like any other type of mechanical equipment, your evacuation chairs require routine maintenance. Preventative maintenance increases the reliability of your evacuation equipment and keeps it compliant.

Evacuation chairs are Class 1 Medical Devices, so they require regular servicing. If you have a manual evacuation chair, you should have it inspected annually under PUWER (The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) guidelines. If your evacuation equipment is powered, it requires an annual service. However, some equipment falls under LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) guidelines and should be inspected every 6 months.

Safe access to equipment at all times

In an emergency, every second counts. In order to respond immediately to emergency situations, you need safe and unobstructed access to evacuation equipment. You’ll be able to deploy your equipment rapidly and reduce unnecessary delays, allowing for a more efficient evacuation process.

Individuals you have tasked with operating the evacuation equipment should be able to do so without hindrance. They should be confident in their abilities, having had training to evacuate others safely. In turn, this prevents panic among your end users.

Ensuring safe access to evacuation equipment also fulfils your legal obligations around workplace safety. Keeping your equipment in good condition is an important aspect of this. Your equipment should be situated in an ideal place for your building and PEEPS. But regardless of its storage place, if your evacuation equipment is not working properly it won’t do you any good in an emergency situation.

Reassurance for the staff operating the chairs

Regular maintenance keeps your evacuation equipment in optimal working condition. This gives your staff confidence in their ability to evacuate others safely. When your staff know that you take the time to maintain your evacuation equipment, they also know that their safety at work is important to you. This helps them build trust within their team and promotes an overall safety culture within your workplace. Your employees or end users know that their wellbeing is being taken seriously, fostering a secure and positive work environment.

We recommend organising regular training sessions for your staff. By creating an environment where they can practice and ask questions, you boost their confidence and their ability to respond to emergencies.

Genuine parts and up-to-date information from manufacturers

Working with a company like Evacu8 for your maintenance requirements ensures that you are receiving the most up-to-date information from manufacturers and genuine replacement parts are used. Not using a reputable company can lead to your equipment failing when you need it the most. Genuine parts from the manufacturer are much safer. They undergo strict quality controls and are designed & tested specifically for your equipment. If your evacuation equipment comes with a warranty, it is highly likely that you void the warranty if you use unofficial replacement parts.

The importance of LOLER registered engineers

LOLER registered engineers are competent persons with specialised knowledge that allows them to detect faults with precision. Their expertise extends the lifespan of your equipment by identifying early signs of wear and tear. They also help you guarantee that regulations and legal standards are being met. Under LOLER guidelines, equipment that is used for lifting people should be maintained every 6 months.

Best practices and maintenance tips

While these aren’t mandatory, we recommend these best practices that are helpful for organising the use of your equipment or extending its life.

  • A dust cover protects your evacuation chair from dust and dirt. It keeps the mechanisms – especially the tracks – moving smoothly. Depending on the nature of your site, a dust cover can also protect your chair from being vandalised or tampered with. If you opt for a brightly coloured dust cover, this also aids visibility and makes it easier to locate your chair quickly if required.
  • Appropriate signage also helps users to locate your evacuation equipment, eliminating confusion in potentially stressful situations. Your signage should comply with international safety sign standards. Situate your sign where it is easily visible – a double-sided corridor sign or hanging from the ceiling, for example. Depending on the characteristics of your building, you may also want to consider photoluminescent signage in case a power failure leaves your end users in the dark.
  • Do not keep your equipment in a locked cupboard. Easy, quick access to equipment is vital in the event of an emergency.

Between your annual services, you can complete visual checks of your evacuation equipment yourself to ensure no vandalism or damage has occurred. Follow these useful tips for best results.

  • Regular use of your evacuation equipment can help you identify and prevent problems before they have a chance to develop. This helps with track rotation and keeps your teams up to date with in-house training in the use of your equipment. You should inspect your evacuation equipment regularly as part of your in-house checks.

What does evacuation equipment maintenance involve?

When one of our Evacu8 engineers visits your site to carry out an evacuation chair maintenance service, they will:

  • Thoroughly inspect your evacuation device, using a comprehensive list to check every function of the chair
  • Clean and lubricate parts, if necessary
  • Check the tracks on evacuation chairs for drying and cracking
  • Carry out a functional test of the chair on your building stairs
  • They will then write an individual report for each of your evacuation chairs, including photos and advisory notes.
  • You will also receive a quick and easily understandable summarised audit for your personal records.
  • Our engineers provide recommendations where necessary. For example, is your chair suitable for the staircases on site?

We know that it can seem like a daunting task to maintain your evacuation equipment, but it doesn’t have to be. We offer evacuation equipment maintenance solutions designed to make things easier for you. With our maintenance contracts, you can have total peace of mind knowing that your safety systems are always at their best.

Service plans or pay-as-you-go options

With Evacu8, your evacuation equipment maintenance doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. We have evacuation equipment servicing contracts available for up to 3 years – at a brilliant, fixed price for the duration of your contract.

Regardless of whether you choose a contract or pay-as-you-go, you’ll always receive a detailed report with photos and advisory notes for each piece of evacuation equipment.

Do good for the planet while maintaining your equipment

For every evacuation servicing contract signed, we plant one tree in the Community Forest by Marston Vale. This non-profit is planting 5 million trees to increase biodiversity in the Milton Keynes/Bedford area. The types of trees are chosen carefully to encourage population growth of local animals and insects that are endangered.


Servicing of your evacuation equipment is a critical component of emergency preparedness. It demands attention, expertise, and regular upkeep. With our comprehensive service plans, your organisation can achieve optimal readiness with minimal hassle. You can even go further than just ensuring the reliability of your evacuation solutions and contribute to conservation efforts, making a positive impact on our planet. Contact us today for more information or browse our maintenance contract options.