Safety

Editor’s choice: Elevator firefighter service testing

Hospital Safety Insider, November 15, 2012

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One of the hot issues that accreditation organization surveyors are focusing on lately is elevator firefighter service, often misidentified as "elevator recall." Local and state authorities on elevator construction and maintenance have always played an active role in inspecting elevators in healthcare occupancies not only on initial installation, but periodically thereafter. But what often catches many facility managers by surprise is the monthly testing requirements for elevator firefighter service; local and state elevator authorities typically do not ask organizations to perform this monthly test. This test is frequently requested by those national accreditation authorities that enforce the Life Safety Code® (LSC).

The basic elevator code is not an NFPA document, but rather an American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) document called ASME A-17.1, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. The 2000 edition of the LSC refers to the 1993 edition of ASME A-17.1, which does not have a requirement for monthly testing of the elevator firefighter service system. So why are monthly tests of the firefighter service system a requirement? Because section 9.4.6 of the LSC states, "All elevators equipped with firefighter service shall be subject to a monthly operation with a written record of the findings made and kept on the premises."

This brief was excerpted from the December issue of Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.
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