Elevator Code Compliance

When providing a scope of work for incorporation an existing elevator bank with an existing fire alarm system, which you may need to do within the next year to keep complaint with the current Chicago elevator code, first ensure the elevator’s emergency operation can be controlled automatically. Chicago adopted ASME 17.3 – 2005 with variations in 2009. One of the variations requires automatic activation of the cab recall to the appropriate exit level if the elevator controller has manual control capability. If there is a fireman’s switch or a manual control switch on the first floor elevator door frame or call buttons, it has manual control. If not, it may still be present, but not utilized. To verify if the car(s) have manual control, look in an elevator cab to see if it has a manual control key switch. If manual control is present, the automatic control must be operational by December 31, 2014. If you have a fully sprinkled building that is city approved, Chicago allows you to initiate automatic control of the elevators via your sprinkler waterflow switches, rather than having to install smoke detectors in every elevator lobby. Here are the actions that need to be taken to stay elevator code compliant:

  • Probably two (2), but up to three (3) fire panel relay modules would have to be installed in the elevator machine room by an electrician. If there is a smoke or heat detector in the elevator machine room, you probably have the circuitry that you need already in the machine room. It just needs to be extended. An electrician would get the modules from the fire alarm contractor. Be sure to contract with a proactive fire alarm contractor that works with several electrical companies that have this experience doing this sort of work.
  • Connection of the relays to the elevator controller by your elevator contractor. Again, use a reliable contractor that would coordinate with the elevator contractor so they’re on site the same day.
  • Fire panel programming by the fire alarm technician to add the relays, link the sprinkler waterflow monitors with the new relays and test the programming.
  • Your existing, city approved fire alarm plans would need to be updated and submitted to city for review & approval

If you’re in the process of selecting an elevator contractor, that would be a good time to ask whomever you select to verify the ‘Fireman’s Emergency Operations’ capabilities of your elevator controllers so you don’t have to pay for them to come back out to verify. Ask them to verify the presence of Phase 1 (Primary & Alternate) and Fireman’s Hat functions.

If you’d like to get a quotation for this work or if you’d like more information on this and other interfacing dilemmas, contact Affiliated Customer Service via the ‘Contact Us’ page.

About Gene Rowe

Gene Rowe serves as the Director of Business Development for Affiliated Customer Service. He brings twenty three years of fire alarm and emergency voice systems experience to the table with both an operational and marketing viewpoint. A US Army veteran, NICET certified, an executive board member of the IL-AFAA and a member of the NFPA, he began his career establishing operational expertise as a technician, developed graphic skills with CAD design as a general engineer, gained a ‘big picture’ mindset by moving to project management and finally a marketing perspective directing business development efforts. By interfacing with a broad range of diverse organizations such as the AFAA, CAA, AIA, CEA and the IFIA, he combines concerns of the owner, designer of record, contractor, distributor and approving authority to bring a unique perspective to Affiliated.

An avid marathon runner, he resides in west suburban Chicago with his wife and two sons. He's served the community as a Cub Scout Leader, as well as coaching multiple levels of travel and park district basketball and baseball teams. Professionally, he serves as the Treasurer and is on the Board of Directors for the Illinois chapter of the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (IL-AFAA).

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