Do not use elevator during a fire evacuation. The safest way to exit a building is the stairs and if your unable to your fire safety plan will address those with disabilities or persons who require assistance.  This is way a Fire Safety Plan is necessary and required by law to implement in your facilities.  This is were can assist and prepare you fire safety plan.   

In 2011 research has provided a new insight into the advantages of early warning detections for elevators.  The transient air pressures produced when an elevator car moves up and down in a shaft is no longer a problem.   In lieu of the expensive smoke management most don’t have the budget but another suggestion that is more cost effective for safe elevators is maybe a “Fire Safe Evacuation Elevator?”  This could consist of multiple drop-down oxygen masks similar during a flight on a plan.  The elevator early shaft warning could disable these masks.  There would have to me a protocol for maintenance, check, and testing plan for the oxygen cylinder located in the elevator cab.  This plan could be worked on by what we have learned from the aviation industry.  Just an idea. 

In 2011 National Building Code requires “fire detectors” “installed in elevator and dumbwaiter shafts” Typically designers provide heat detectors in the elevator pits and photoelectric smoke detectors are installed at the top of the elevator shaft.  Top of the shaft photo electric smoke detector is typically les prone to dust and dirt.   

From 2010 National Fire Code regarding fire safety plan approach to elevators can technically still operate during the very early stages of a fire.  Elevator recall is not active, or the elevators are not called out of service until a fire alarm initiating device sense fire or some or an operator triggers the manual pull stations.   

Owners of a building must get a qualified technician to provide maintenance and checks on the elevator system annually.  

Fire safe evacuation elevators are complex. This means that a decision on the future of elevator emergency evacuation systems will not be made soon. However, the benefits are real. We now know that evacuation of a multi hundred ft. high rise office building can be accomplished in 30 minutes using elevators alone. 

What developers owners need to realize they need a better way to evacuate occupants in a high rise building.  Evolving fire alarm technology, such as aspirating detection system will be a big part of the solution.  Fire alarm technicians will continue to be there to ensure these systems are maintained and functioning.   

Not here is something to think about the next time you’re in an elevator.  

Contact www.TheGeoFocus Group or we can assit!!