Emergency Lifts

Emergency lifts under the Building Code of Australia are required in all buildings over 25m in height and any class 9a building in which patient care areas are located at a level that does not have direct egress to a road or open space. Emergency lifts are nominated as critical essential safety measures in these types of buildings by the building surveyor/ building certifier.

Emergency lifts are provided for the fire services quick response to a fire emergency fire evacuation and also provides rapid evacuation of individuals who may be incapacitated.

Building Code of Australia

Clause E3.4 of the BCA sets out the requirements for the installation of emergency lifts including allowing it to be combined with a passenger lift under a building approval.

The following illustration depicts when emergency lifts are required in a building.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 Essential Safety Measure  (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as emergency lifts.

Table I1.9 SAFETY MEASURES – LIFTS

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Emergency lifts E3.4

 

Clause E3.4 calls up for emergency lifts to either comply with:

  • AS 1735.2-2004 Lifts, escalators and moving walks – Passenger and goods lifts – Electric
  • AS 1735.1-2003 lifts, escalators and moving walks – General requirement

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Emergency Lifts

A typical essential safety measures auditor would be well out of their depth in analysing AS 1735.2-2001 and AS 1735.1-2003 and applying them to emergency lifts, only a specialist qualified technician would be up to the task.

The auditor must determine under the essential safety measures determination/ schedule whether emergency lifts exist in the building to ensure fire safety compliance. If so, the auditor should inspect the emergency lifts maintenance logbook and check the frequency of inspections, testing and maintenance performed. Poor performance should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to allow for signing the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.