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Emergency Elevator Evacuation Systems.

pdf icon Emergency Elevator Evacuation Systems. (1619 K)
Klote, J. H.; Levin, B. M.; Groner, N. E.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Elevators, Fire and Accessibility, 2nd Symposium. Proceedings. April 19-21, 1995, Am. Soc. of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 131-150 pp, 1995.


elevators (lifts); evacuation; emergencies; fire protection; machinery; reliability; compartmentation; dilution; pressurization; water; overheating; electrical power; elevator shafts; occupants


Throughout most of the world, warning signs next to elevators indicate that they should not be used in fire situations. However, the idea of using elevators to speed up fire evacuation and to evacuate people with disabilities has gained considerable attention in recent years. The concept of an emergency elevator evacuation system (EEES) is developed. An EEES includes the elevator equipment, hoistway (elevator shaft), machine room, elevator lobby, as well as, protection from heat, flame, smoke, water, overheating of elevator machine room equipment, and loss of electrical power. While the primary objective of an EEES is fire evacuation of building occupants, these systems are also applicable for fire service mobilization before fire fighting and for non-fire emergency evacuation (due to bomb threats for example). In areas of high seismic activity, attention must be paid to earthquake design. Further, the development of an EEES needs to take into account human behavior so that building occupants will be willing and capable of operating the system in an emergency. The issues of communications, elevator control and out-of-service elevators are addressed. It is concluded that design of an EEES for a small number of people is feasible. An EEES for small numbers of people is much simpler than one for the large numbers of people in a general evacuation. Based on what is learned from an EEES for a small number of people, an application for many people could follow.