Life is full of choices, from the clothes we wear to the cars we drive. Americans love having the freedom to do as they choose. But in some things, for good reason, we have no choice but to follow rules and laws. The laws ensure public safety. This is especially true when it comes to regulations for elevators and other modes of vertical transportation. One of the most important regulations is the elevator evacuation plan.
All elevator owner is required to have one. For the safety of all who use them, elevators are highly regulated. In Illinois, the Elevator Safety Division is responsible for implementing the Elevator Safety and Regulation Act. Through them they oversee registration, inspection, and certification of all conveyances in use. They also make sure those working on elevators are qualified by licensed contractors, mechanics, inspectors, inspection companies and apprentices.
Their jurisdiction extends to all of Illinois except the city of Chicago. They work to ensure conveyances are correctly and safely installed and operated throughout the state.
Moreover they regulate the design, installation, construction, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance, alteration and repair of elevators. In addition they also oversee dumbwaiters, escalators, moving sidewalks, platform lifts, stairway lifts and automated people movers in accordance with all applicable statutes and rules.
Just one part of their regulation includes the elevator evacuation plan. It is one of the more crucial parts of the law that building owners must understand and implement if elevators are used. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) literally wrote the book on the evacuation plan, and it was codified by the state of Illinois, making it the law of the land that the Elevator Safety Division of the Illinois State Fire Marshal oversees and enforces.
In ASME Code A17.1-2007 – Section 188.8.131.52 Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Elevators, Section 184.108.40.206.2 – “A written emergency evacuation procedure shall be made and kept on the premises where an elevator is located.” It is the responsibility of the elevator or conveyance owner to develop such procedures. Note that there is no single procedure that applies to every site and every elevator; there are variables to consider when developing your evacuation plan.
Furthermore it is the responsibility of the building owner to produce an elevator evacuation plan to meet the needs of each specific building and elevator. To help with formulating a plan, the Office of the Illinois Fire Marshal provides the following information on their website:
Most of all lack of an evacuation plan is a violation of the law that is designed to make sure that everyone using an elevator is safe. To read more about elevator evacuation plans, go to this link. The Illinois State Fire Marshal Office – Elevator safety Division website offers a tremendous amount of helpful information that can be accessed any time.