In the Event of Fire - Use the Elevators

Roger E Howkins

Monday 1st May 2000

Buildings worldwide normally have instructions posted in elevators, rooms and primary circulation routes, that in the event of fire "Do Not Use the Elevators". In a modern correctly designed, installed and commissioned building this statement is fundamentally flawed, in safety terms when considering the overall building population. Why is it that in a modern building, the elevator systems consider to be unsafe in a fire situation? Is it a realistic demand to expect building occupiers to use evacuation stairs when safety procedures demand a quick efficient and safe means of evacuation from buildings in the event of an emergency, including fire? This paper will examine the risks of fire safety, affecting elevator performance in the event of intelligent and controllable emergency evacuation of a modern building.

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