When Considering A Fire-Fighter Lift

Having worked with a spectrum of clients on various projects in different buildings and needing to meet different requirements, iKONIC have put together some information such as basic, Lift and Building designs for consideration when looking for a fire fighter lift project.

Please Note: Typically lifts are not used in the event of a fire. Most lifts go to ground level (main exit floor) and shut down in the event of an alarm in accordance with BS EN 81-73:2016; (Behaviour of lifts in the event of a fire). However, there are certain types of passenger lift that can aid the fire and rescue service and emergency evacuation in the event of a crisis.

Basic Considerations When Opting for a Fire Fighter

  • The lift can be used as a normal passenger lift at any time other than in the event of fire
  • To reduce the risk of the lift entrance obstructions during firefighters’ service operation, its use for moving refuse or goods should be restricted.
  • In the event of a fire, lifts should not be used
  • The Firefighting Lift’s electric power supply cable(s) is fire protected
  • The secondary supply may be an alternative supply from a separate substation, but more likely will be from a backup generator
  • Post construction, maintenance procedures are put in place to check that firefighting lifts are correctly maintained and available for use when required
  • If a sump pump is used, it is located outside of the lift shaft and will have a secondary power supply

Careful consideration should also be considered in accordance with BS 9999:2017 (Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings).

Lift Design Considerations When Opting for a Fire Fighter

When designing a firefighting lift into your building, take note of the key elements which must be included within the Firefighting Lift design:

  • The minimum rated load of the lift is 630kg
  • The minimum interior lift car dimensions are 1100 mm wide by 1400 mm deep
  • The minimum clear opening entrance width is 800 mm
  • If the lift is to be used for evacuation, and the use of a stretcher or bed, then the minimum rated load is 1000 kg. The minimum interior dimensions are 1100 mm wide by 2100 mm deep
  • The lift can reach the top floor within a time of 60 seconds (for travels up to 200 m)
  • All electrical equipment within the lift well is protected against water ingress to the appropriate IP rating
  • A trap door is provided in the lift car roof for purposes of escape from the lift car by firefighters.
  • Additional ladders are provided to facilitate escape from the lift car
  • Additional lift control system features are required above that which would be incorporated on a non-Firefighting lift

Building Design Considerations When Opting for a Fire Fighter

When designing a firefighting lift into your building, take note of the key elements which must be included within the building design:

Measures are taken to minimise the ingress of water into the lift shaft, e.g:

  • Drainage channels in front of each landing entrance
  • Ramping up of the finished floor level in front of the lift entrance
  • Where measures such as those above are not taken to prevent the ingress of water into the lift shaft, then measures are taken to prevent water build up in the pit e.g.
  • Drains to prevent water reaching a defined level
  • Permanently installed draining pumps to remove the water. The pumps are fitted outside of the lift shaft, and provided with a secondary power supply
  • NOTE – as the water from fire hoses is of high volume and pressure, it may be appropriate to install pumps/drainage measures even when the measures to minimise ingress of water have been taken.
  • The fire design strategy will determine the requirements for a Firefighting Lifts
  • Fire resistance of doors, walls, etc. are in accordance with the fire regulations and fire strategy
  • It is not automatically necessary for a Firefighting Lift to serve all floors within a building
  • Where the distance between lift landing entrances is greater than 7 m, intermediate escape doors are provided
  • Through-car lift arrangements with the firefighting entrance on either side are permitted
  • Any compartment containing the lift machine and its associated equipment are provided with at least the same degree of fire protection as is given to the lift well
  • A suitable fire-resistant structure of the building is provided, including fire protected lobbies, fire detection and extinguisher systems etc.
  • The firefighters lift is in a well with a fire-protected lobby in front of every landing door. The area of each fire protected lobby is given by the requirements for the transportation of stretchers and the location of the doors in each single case
  • If there are other lifts in the same lift well, then the common well fulfils the fire resistance requirements of a firefighters lift wells. This level of fire resistance also applies to the fire protected lobby doors and machine room
  • Where there is no intermediate fire wall to separate the Firefighting Lift from other lifts in a common lift well, then all lifts and their electrical equipment have the same fire protection as the Firefighting Lift, to assist correct functioning
  • A secondary power supply is provided and located in a fire-protected area. Reliability of power supplies and circuitry is essential to the operation of the Firefighting Lift


iKONIC hope you have found this information helpful, if you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us via our website and a member of our team will get straight back to you.

iKONICs range of firefighter passenger lifts are supplied in accordance to BS EN81-72:2015.

These lifts operate as normal passenger lifts with the capability to switch into an emergency state if required.

iKONIC main product range offers three options which are

iKONIC Jupiter

iKONIC Hercules

and our famous iKONIC Bespoke Lift for those looking for something special as well as functional.