Fire Evacuation Lifts

Fire Evacuation Lifts

Fire Evacuation Lifts are Key to Your Emergency Planning

All public and residential buildings are required to design and regularly rehearse their emergency procedures in the event of a crisis such as fire or flooding. At the heart of this planning is the efficient dispersal of everyone within the building to a safe location, whilst avoiding ‘bottlenecks’ in corridors, or on stairways, which could cause panic, injuries, or loss to life. Fire evacuation lifts should be an integral part of this emergency planning.

Tower Lifts is an established provider of emergency lifts. We regularly install both firefighters’ lifts and fire evacuation lifts. In this article we look at what an evacuation lift is for and how it is different from a firefighters lift.

What is a Fire Evacuation Lift?

Emergency planning has to take into special account the evacuation of disabled people who may not be able to access the fire exits without using vertical transport. Fire evacuation lifts fulfil this requirement and they can be used as a way of escaping danger in an emergency. An evacuation lift operates like a passenger lift normally, and switches to its emergency role when necessary.

Fire Evacuation Lifts

Fire Evacuation Lift

Fire evacuation lifts are especially designed to ensure the following guidelines are met:

  • Protected against water ingress.
  • Emergency communications installed.
  • Effective access facilitated via trapdoors or ladders.
  • Separate power supply to maintain operational use in an emergency.
  • Interface between the lift control, fire detection and alarm.
  • All controls fully compliant with the Equality Act 2010, Approved Document M.
  • Lift car size EN81-70 Type 2 (minimum requirement).

Professional Safety Assured with Tower Lifts

Tower Lifts is aware, when fitting fire evacuation lifts, that we are providing an emergency exit for people who are experiencing critical conditions and are placing their safety in our hands.The stringency of the regulations which apply to Fire Evacuation liftsis notoriously high and we take every precaution, in both the design and installation phase, to ensure that we are providing every safeguard and support for passengers accessing vertical transport in a crisis.

Can I Upgrade an Existing Lift for Evacuation?

Where there is an existing passenger lift in a tower block, there may be an opportunity to upgrade it for use as a fire evacuation lift. Guidance for this process is provided in BS 8899:2016 Improvement of Fire-fighting and Evacuation Provisions in Existing Lifts. Code of Practice.

The assessment and strategy development should include the following:

  • The fire safety objectives of the use of lifts by disabled persons.
  • A review of building design, characterisation and environs, occupant characterisation and existing fire safety management.
  • Evacuation scenarios which take into account of factors such as occupancy levels, training provision, mobility of occupants.
  • Additional fire safety precautions that could also be adopted.
  • Acceptance criteria and methods of analysis such as a significant reduction in evacuation time, degree of protection.

The best way to determine whether or not a passenger lift meets the specifications, would be for a detailed assessment carried out by experienced lift engineers on site. This would allow for consideration of the range of features required – such as a secondary power supply.

Passenger Safety Is Our Business Every Day

Anyone who works with vertical transport knows that passenger safety is their top priority on a daily basis; that’s why our lift installers are skilled professionals with years of experience to bring to their work. Tower Lifts is an ISO9001:2015 Lift Cert and UKAS approved company adhering to all current Lift Regulations.

As a team we demand the highest standards of ourselves every day – which is why you can rely on our products in an emergency.

If you would like to speak to a Tower Lifts engineer about installing a fire evacuation lift, or upgrading an existing passenger lift, call us today on 01525 601099 or email us at