Stoke City FC chooses stairway safety solution

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Stoke City FC is to use Evac+Chair to provide stairway evacuation chairs as a safe means of emergency exit for supporters unable to use stairs.

The 18 chairs are being introduced at the club’s Bet365 Stadium during its first major redevelopment since being built in 1997. The redevelopment will add 1,800 seats, increasing capacity to 30,000, and enable the Premier League soccer club to provide additional and improved viewing for wheelchair users.

The club will introduce two new high-level disabled bays, create pitch-side disabled bays in its North, South and West stands and provide super-risers to the existing mid-terrace bays, as well as ensuring a safe means of emergency evacuation.

Rob Killingworth, the club’s manager of health and safety, said, “Evacuation procedures underpin our fire safety strategy, but we also need to have provision in place for any circumstance where someone may need assistance and is unable to use the lifts. As you can imagine, we have a lot of people working here on match days, so we needed to develop a policy that enables us to train as many of them as possible.”

Stoke City has chosen the 300H Evac+Chair, which has a 182kg carrying capacity and is designed for easy one-person operation. Although all Evac+Chair equipment is designed to be easy to use, specific training is recommended. The chosen masterclass is a full-day, certificated course, enabling key staff to be able provide in-house training to other staff members and to ensure that there are always sufficient numbers of trained people on-site. The club is also in the process of recruiting a large team of trained access stewards as part of its Stoke City Safety Operation.

With development work well underway, the new facilities will be ready for use in August 2017.

June 14, 2017

Written by: Felicity Butcher

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