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News story: Experts Reconsider Elevator as Fire Escape

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  • #16
    I got the power system failure licked. I should be going public in a couple of months with my "R.E.E.P.S." system. Power failure will not affect elevator operation if it is outfitted with a R.E.E.P.S.

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    • #17
      15 years or so ago I sat down with an electrical engineer who owned a company that built ALL of Otis Elevator low speed elevator controls.

      He was the father of a guy I had grown up and he was dying, he had heard
      I had made captain and wanted to make sure I promised him to never use an elevator during a fire before he died.

      He explained all the testing procedures and the requirements to have a fire rated elevator. He said the greatest vulnerability was the controller and it's RAM memory chip....It was designed this way as per his contract. The RAM memory chip at this time was vulnerable to power surges and momentary loss
      of power even with battery back-up. He also said the key control for firefighters is the same as any other special service key operation, the difference was the way it was"programmed" to operate. RAM memory is used to control many things in our lives from computers, game consoles, to elevators and traffic lights they are made to operate at a certain temperature range, dry environment and require a reliable power supply.

      He showed me copies of tender documents and the disclaimer he put in every submission....as to be not responsible for any death or injury cased by
      the way the controllers had to be designed to meet the standards.

      I wonder how many of those controllers his company built are still being used today?

      Up until I sat down with him that day I thought we were safe with our
      little F/F elevator keys....not any more.

      Don

      Something else to think about: When you go up the elevator and there is fire in the upper floors you stop below the fire floor. Where did all the air the elevator car was "pushing " up go ?

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by PegasusR7 View Post
        I got the power system failure licked. I should be going public in a couple of months with my "R.E.E.P.S." system. Power failure will not affect elevator operation if it is outfitted with a R.E.E.P.S.
        Really? So you have a replacement for three phase 480 volt power to the elevator motors and control system that doesn't use electricity?

        Originally posted by don120 View Post
        Something else to think about: When you go up the elevator and there is fire in the upper floors you stop below the fire floor. Where did all the air the elevator car was "pushing " up go ?
        Out the vents at the top of the shaft where it normally goes? I see what you're getting at but that would only be a real factor if the hoistway door on the fire floor was mysteriously jammed open somehow I think. The hoistway doors are not controlled electrically. They are pulled open by catches on the car doors as they open adjacent to them. Not that I'm suggesting that means it is ok to take an elevator to the fire every time, just sayin.
        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by nmfire View Post
          Really? So you have a replacement for three phase 480 volt power to the elevator motors and control system that doesn't use electricity?


          Out the vents at the top of the shaft where it normally goes? I see what you're getting at but that would only be a real factor if the hoistway door on the fire floor was mysteriously jammed open somehow I think. The hoistway doors are not controlled electrically. They are pulled open by catches on the car doors as they open adjacent to them. Not that I'm suggesting that means it is ok to take an elevator to the fire every time, just sayin.
          Hoistway door mysteriously jammed on the fire floor?HHMMMM let me see oh ya 1997, 4th floor, janitor went to investigate "another false alarm" in the 7 story seniors residence....ooops ! The doors opened half way and ooops again
          the "L" shaped sofa in the elevator lobby is burning. Me and the rescue crew
          ran up the stairs....found him in the jammed elevator at the fire floor. Yes he survived....

          We all learned a valuable lesson there and confirmed what my friends father told me.

          In this case it was a controller failure that almost cost the janitor his life.

          When he used his janitor elevator key the elevator was not supposed to go any higher than 1 floor below the floor where the fire alarm activation was.
          Well, it went straight to the fire floor.

          All these special service keys are just activating preprogrammed operations.

          This how the low speed Otis elevator controls function.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by nmfire View Post
            Really? So you have a replacement for three phase 480 volt power to the elevator motors and control system that doesn't use electricity?


            Out the vents at the top of the shaft where it normally goes? I see what you're getting at but that would only be a real factor if the hoistway door on the fire floor was mysteriously jammed open somehow I think. The hoistway doors are not controlled electrically. They are pulled open by catches on the car doors as they open adjacent to them. Not that I'm suggesting that means it is ok to take an elevator to the fire every time, just sayin.
            MY invention will prevent elevator failure ENTIRELY. No bldgs over story,Hehe T.C.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
              MY invention will prevent elevator failure ENTIRELY. No bldgs over story,Hehe T.C.
              Someone already invented that... Bossier Parish, LA!
              ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
              Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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              • #22
                Don, you are mistaken. Hoistway doors are NOT mechanically or electrically controlled by anything. They are dragged open and closed by the elevator car doors when aligned. There is no way for the hoistway doors to open themselves because they are not connected to anything.

                What you described is not the same. You described an elevator car being at the fire floor. I don't think anyone would expect it to work properly if the elevator lobby is on fire. And as it relates to air in the shaft, the car is there blocking the opening so another elevator in the same hoistway is not going to push air through those open doors because the car is in the way. You're talking about situation that is completely unrelated to what I was talking about.
                Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                Comment


                • #23
                  When he used his janitor elevator key the elevator was not supposed to go any higher than 1 floor below the floor where the fire alarm activation was.
                  Well, it went straight to the fire floor
                  I had 11 years as a Journeyman Elevator Mechanic and have never heard of such a feature. As a mater of fact, alarm companies only need to provide 2 sets of dry contacts to the elevator controller for fire service. 1 set is for the lobby floor, which will cause the elevator to go to an alternate floor. 1 set for all others, which will recall the elevator to the lobby.
                  Last edited by SPFDRum; 09-22-2010, 09:51 PM.
                  My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                  "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                  George Mason
                  Co-author of the Second Amendment
                  during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                  Elevator Rescue Information

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I agree. Other keys and functions are not going to have that ability. It's either in recall to the lobby or recall to the alternate. This janitor key and going a floor below the fire is totally wrong. In fact, his janitor key is probably nothing more than an individual service key with a different label. There really isn't anything else for it to do.
                    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      There really isn't anything else for it to do.
                      Oh sure there is nmfire, the silly little fact that fire service overrides independent service, door hold, or stop switches.....lol (depending AHJ) LOL
                      My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                      "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                      George Mason
                      Co-author of the Second Amendment
                      during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                      Elevator Rescue Information

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Exactly, which makes it even more unlikely that this mystical "janitor service key" did what is described.
                        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          As someone who uses elevators in the daily course of my work...I'd say this is a questionable idea at best.

                          These elevators malfunction ALL the time.

                          Sometimes we get the cars recalled...
                          ...they won't recall
                          ...they won't go into Fireman service
                          ...they wont leave the lobby once in phase II
                          ...they get you to your floor but wont open doors
                          ...they take you to firefloor(bad)
                          ...they take you above fire floor(worse)

                          The vertically moving urinals in the projects break down daily with little provocation. These are assumed to not be reliable under any circumstances in most projects.

                          Phase III as they have in Asian countries might be better but I have my doubts especially when it comes to no overloading by panicy civilians. I beleive we've tried to get these installed...but mainly for our needs not civilians.

                          This also forgets the fact that once we get there...WE need the elevators to get where we are going in a timely manner. If they are working...they are going to be working for us. They can't be used for evacuations if we are shuttling men up to the fire.

                          We only use elevators with numerous precautions (masks, tools, training...etc) I can't imagine allowing civilians to take the chance and probably create more problems for us in the long run.

                          Here is some reading: Chief Vincent Dunn Elevator newsletter

                          FTM-PTB
                          Last edited by FFFRED; 09-23-2010, 07:51 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by FFFRED View Post
                            As someone who uses elevators in the daily course of my work...I'd say this is a questionable idea at best.

                            These elevators malfunction ALL the time.

                            Sometimes we get the cars recalled...
                            ...they won't recall
                            ...they won't go into Fireman service
                            ...they wont leave the lobby once in phase II
                            ...they get you to your floor but wont open doors
                            ...they take you to firefloor(bad)
                            ...they take you above fire floor(worse)

                            The vertically moving urinals in the projects break down daily with little provocation. These are assumed to not be reliable under any circumstances in most projects.

                            Phase III as they have in Asian countries might be better but I have my doubts especially when it comes to no overloading by panicy civilians. I beleive we've tried to get these installed...but mainly for our needs not civilians.

                            This also forgets the fact that once we get there...WE need the elevators to get where we are going in a timely manner. If they are working...they are going to be working for us. They can't be used for evacuations if we are shuttling men up to the fire.

                            We only use elevators with numerous precautions (masks, tools, training...etc) I can't imagine allowing civilians to take the chance and probably create more problems for us in the long run.

                            Here is some reading: Chief Vincent Dunn Elevator newsletter

                            FTM-PTB

                            You said it right brother... and not only that... anyone ever use an elevator in nyc? by the time some of them work there way up you'd probably be dead from smoke anyway

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Who's going to tell FFFRED he's wrong too?

                              I've got the popcorn....


                              sarcasm didn't come across
                              Last edited by don120; 09-30-2010, 01:08 PM. Reason: add ifo

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                              • #30
                                who said he was wrong?

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