The EVAC+CHAIR® is the original emergency evacuation chair. There are plenty of copycat competitors, but as usual, the original is still the best. Here's why:

Our evacuation chair is simple. It works every time. It is intuitive so anyone can use it, even without training or instruction. There are no complicated add-ons to break. No gimmicky features to snag or fail. It simply works, effectively, easily, and does what it was designed to do: save lives.

The First Design Elements

I began with a chair configuration and ended with a hybrid of stretcher, cart and chair. The stretcher is a well-accepted first-aid tool, but not very practical for the narrow turnings and precarious gradients of fire stairs. Moreover, even if some adaptation of the ski patrol toboggan-type stretcher could be worked out, I could not image the typical ambulatory office worker test riding such a prone descent.

But there were two extraordinarily valuable ideas hidden in this stretcher application that set goals of performance for me. One, the evacuee's weight should be carried directly by the stairs, not by human muscle. Two, the device should slide over at least two stair nosings at a time to provide a smooth passage over the stairs. Implied in this thought process was a very important, basic assumption. I was designing a universally usable, adaptable and completely portable evacuation unit requiring no installation. I also accepted evacuation of high-rise buildings as primarily a downward-directed activity.

Many see the EVAC+CHAIR® as an adaptation of the familiar tractor hand truck used to deliver refrigerators and other heavy appliances up or down stairs. It's a comforting analogy and may have been a more logical point from which to start but it was in fact not self-evident at the start. The typical refrigerator hand truck is designed to go up as well as down. To do so with minimum effort, crawler belts run over roller bearings to reduce friction. These carts, built to transport heavy, bulk goods, are deigned to be handled one step at a time, using first the crawler and then the wheels on alternating stair nosing and tread. The realization of these limitations became extremely important as you shall see.

- David Egen,
Inventor of the EVAC+CHAIR®


516.502.4240 (Phone)
516.327.8220 (Fax)

  1. GSA Schedule: GS-07F-0162V
  2. ISO 9001:2000
  3. ADA
  1. RESNA
  2. NFPA
  3. Winner: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) - Design of the Decade

EVAC+CHAIR® Evacuation Emergency Stair Chairs: Compare Us


Buying a non-genuine Evac+Chair may put both the operator and the passengers at risk, and ultimately costs more. Please consider the following when making your purchasing decision:


Preparation of the chair for use should be fast and simple. Tricky releases, and difficult belts and buckles impede safe and quick assembly and evacuation.

Weight of Unit

Weight is a major factor, particularly if the evacuation equipment needs to be carried to the passenger, or simply removed from its securing location. Since the EVAC+CHAIR requires only one operator, the chair must be light enough to be lifted by a single individual yet strong enough to support the average passenger. The EVAC+CHAIR is only 19 pounds and has a carrying capacity of 400 pounds.

Ease of Transfer

An evacuation chair must be designed for easy transfer. People of reduced mobility may require assistance, thus the evacuation chair must be stable, low, open on both sides and provide passenger safety at all times by not moving during transfer.


Building regulations require a 4-ft width of stairways, halls, and landings. The EVAC+CHAIR is able to maneuver these areas with ease.

Speed and Control of Descent

An able-bodied person can descend stairs at normal walking pace at a rate of 2.46 feet per second. An evacuation chair should be able to match this without jeopardizing safety. The Evac+Chair can safely descend two flights of stairs in 15 seconds without blocking the stairs for other users by using the Polymatic v-belt as a friction breaking device. This system uses gravity and the leverage of the operator to create friction and stop the chair. Some chair types have no friction and, therefore, no controlled speed of descent. Other devices require a cable brake and release mechanism. Virtually all cable brake mechanisms use the “dead man brake” principle and are either “on” or “off”; they do not provide a graduated increase or decrease of pressure experienced with a bicycle.


The EVAC+CHAIR has an easy fold out two wheel trolley which allows for flat surface stability. Even with this stability, passengers should never be left unattended in any evacuation chair.

Restraints and Comfort

In emergencies, the passenger may not be conscious or have control. The seat pocket “cups” the body securely and the rider is strapped into the chair. The sliding head rest and padded back allow for passenger comfort.


*Note: for legal reasons, we have not mentioned our competitors by name, but this data is factual and based on our three leading competitors.

Conclusion: EVAC+CHAIR® wins in every category!

It's simply a better chair. Beyond the hard facts listed above, you should know that the Original EVAC+CHAIR® is the only item we make. So our entire company is focused on this one product, thus making sure that if the time comes when you need a stair evacuation system, our product will not fail you. We invented the evacuation chair industry over 25 years ago. Many competitors have come and gone, but EVAC+CHAIR® is still your hands-down, best bet for an evacuation system.

If you are considering other chairs and have been told that weight doesn't matter, or that you need such and such a feature, etc... Please contact us. We would be happy to discuss what you were told and demonstrate why the Original EVAC+CHAIR® really is the only logical choice for your emergency stair evacuation system.

Need more convincing? See a list of reasons why the EVAC+CHAIR® is your best choice for an evacuation chair.

 Emergency Stair Chair Evacuation System by Evac+Chair