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Evacuation Lift

What Does Evacuation Lift Mean?

An evacuation lift is a type of lift/elevator that can be used by passengers to quickly evacuate from a building in the event that other means of exit are not usable. They are distinguished from regular lifts by modifications that are designed to allow the lift to be safely and effectively used as a means of evacuation during a fire. Lifts that can be used as evacuation lifts are not usually reserved solely for use in emergencies, and can act as ordinary-use passenger lifts outside of emergency scenarios.

The provision and use of evacuation lifts is circumscribed by multiple British and European Standards governing elevator safety, such as BS 9999:2017 (fire safety in commercial buildings), BS EN 81-73:2016 and DD CEN/TS 81-76: 2011.

Safeopedia Explains Evacuation Lift

Fire evacuation lifts are primarily intended for use by disabled persons who are unable, or have reduced capacity, to use alternate methods of evacuation. The criteria that evacuation lifts must meet include protection against water damage (from extinguishing systems), effective access via trapdoors or ladders, and controls that are compliant with the disability discrimination act. Evacuation lifts also include an override function that enables firefighters to operate the controls in order to bring the lift to safety or access the cabin.

Other common features of evacuation lifts include emergency intercom, a separate power backup system, and an internal fire detection/alarm system. Applicable European standards do not require features such as power backup if alternative remedies—such as a fire-protected primary power supply—are available instead; however, the requirements of local building codes and similar regulations may be more stringent. All evacuation lifts must provide protection against fire and smoke.

According to the UK’s BS 9999 standard, as well as UK government guidance, a lift used for fire evacuation purposes may either be an evacuation lift or a fire-fighting lift. Normal passenger lifts may also be used for evacuation so long as an appropriate risk assessment has been undertaken, the lift is equipped with a separate electrical supply, and provides direct access to a final point of exit from the building.


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