Author Topic: Fire fighting and fire escape lifts  (Read 148 times)

Online Fire Monkey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
Fire fighting and fire escape lifts
« on: February 07, 2019, 05:33:11 PM »
Hello,

Can any one remind me of the differences between a fire fighting lift and a fire escape lift? Are they one and the same?

Cheers,

Offline AnthonyB

  • Firenet Extinguisher Expert
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2247
    • http://www.sm-ms.co.uk
Re: Fire fighting and fire escape lifts
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 07:46:33 PM »
Very similar in construction, location & power requirements except an evacuation lift is installed in addition to any firefighting lifts (or exclusively if the building doesn't need one) so isn't subject to the need to try and finish using it before the FRS arrive and need it.

Very rare because Building Regs doesn't require them and allows for managed use of the fire fighting lift as an option in a design fire strategy, so like sprinklers they are a substantial addtional cost that most designers won't include where not obligatory (or a trade off for not providing other obligatory features). I've only ever been to one building that had a genuinely dedicated evac lift in addition to it's fire fighting lift.
Anthony Buck
Fire Safety Technical Lead at a BAFE SP205 accredited consultancy

Extinguisher/Fire History Enthusiast

Fire Extinguisher Facebook Group:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65...415&ref=ts
http://www.youtube.com/user/contactacb
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/anthony-buck-36b9572

Offline Dinnertime Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 767
Re: Fire fighting and fire escape lifts
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 01:39:11 PM »
One area does spring to mind is that the landings adjacent to firefighting lifts are designed on a slight slope to prevent water entering the shaft. Wouldn't be needed for an escape lift.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 12:13:38 AM by Dinnertime Dave »

Online Tom Sutton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2278
All my responses only apply to England and Wales and they are an overview of the subject, hopefully it will point you in the right direction and always treat with caution.

Offline Fishy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 712
Re: Fire fighting and fire escape lifts
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 08:29:01 AM »
Hello,

Can any one remind me of the differences between a fire fighting lift and a fire escape lift? Are they one and the same?

Cheers,

They are absolutely not the same!  Biggest difference is power supplies - according to the latest edition of BS 9999 evac lifts do not need dual power supplies unless you already have them in the building for other reasons (e.g. smoke control; pressurisation).  You can normally use primary and secondary circuits from a single incoming supply.  F/F lifts (in contrast) need a full BS 8519 compliant dual supply.  This can make a massive difference in the cost, & in many cases when I've been told that evac. lifts are "too expensive" it's because the designers have misunderstood the power supply requirements & have specified dual supplies.

What this means practically is that there's a relatively small difference in cost between evac lifts and 'normal' lifts - in fact you can turn the latter into the former by:
- upgrading the power supply circuitry (fire protected cable, dual routes, auto changeover);
- Altering the lift controller (within the lift car) to allow it to be taken under staff control;
- installing two-way emergency voice communications.

F/F lifts, in contrast, need the dual power supplies, water ingress protection, self-rescue facilities etc...

You can use F/F lifts as evacuation lifts with some minor modifications (e.g. lift controller alterations; BS 5839-9 EVCs in the refuges).

We design loads of evac lifts - even in low-rise.  Once you talk the building users through the difficulties of using evacuation chairs (manual handling etc) they very often insist upon them - especially when we reassure them that the difference in cost is minimal.  The most difficult thing is often getting the lifts associated with a BS 9999 compliant refuge, but you'll normally need these anyway, & on new build or major alterations it's normally not a massive issue,

Online Fire Monkey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
Re: Fire fighting and fire escape lifts
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 06:08:36 PM »
Super - thanks for the replies. It was the difference in power supplies that was really testing my old noggin. The conversation in the office will continue....

Offline Fishy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 712
Re: Fire fighting and fire escape lifts
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 11:55:43 AM »
G.2.2 of BS 9999: 2017 deals with the power supply arrangements - be aware that it's deliberately different to BS 8519 where evacuation lifts are concerned (BS 8519 recommendations are generally regarded as over the top for evac lifts). 

UPS can fulfil the 'automatic self-rescue' function, but cannot usually provide the secondary escape supply, as amongst other things they're usually incapable of moving the lift at full speed.