- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Nov 2017
Buildings other than low-rise buildings without a deep basement, require additional facilities to enable the fire and rescue service to avoid delay, reach fires, work near fires, and to provide a secure operating base. This includes the provision of; firefighting lifts, firefighting stairs and firefighting lobbies, combined in a protected shaft described as a ‘firefighting shaft’ (although not all firefighting shafts need to include firefighting lifts).
Approved Document B - Fire Safety: Volume 2 - Buildings other than dwellinghouses, defines a firefighting lift as, ‘A lift designed to have additional protection, with controls that enable it to be used under the direct control of the fire and rescue service in fighting a fire... A firefighting lift is required if the building has a floor more than 18m above, or more than 10m below fire service vehicle access level.'
A firefighting lift includes; the lift car, the lift well, the lift machinery space, the lift control system and the lift communications system. Firefighting lifts have very specific safety requirements and the presence of firefighting controls within a lift does not necessarily mean that it is a firefighting lift. Firefighting lifts should comply with the requirements of BS EN 81-72:2015 and BS EN 81-1:1998 or BS EN 81-2:1998.
NB an evacuation lift is a lift that may be used for the evacuation of people in a fire. It is generally not appropriate to use lifts if there is a fire because of the danger that they will become immobilised. However, in some circumstances lifts may be provided as part of a management plan for evacuation, although they will then need to be appropriately sited and protected and may need to contain a number of additional safety features. Where a firefighting lift provides access and facilities for the fire service, this can be used as part of a management plan for evacuating disabled people. However, any such plan should include contingency provisions for when the fire and rescue service arrive.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approved documents.
- Fire and rescue service.
- Fire compartmentation.
- Fire resistance.
- Firefighting lobby.
- Firefighting route.
- Firefighting shaft.
- Lifting platform.
- Lifts and Escalators: A Quality Perspective.
- Lifts and Their Special Operating Modes.
- Means of escape.
- The importance of service lifts.
Featured articles and news
Andrew Strauss talks about performance and team building at the 2018 BSRIA Briefing.
Applications have to be in by the end of the week.
Reflections on the 5th Annual Global Congress of Knowledge Economy, held in Qingdao, China.
An artist finds ruined and decaying buildings a source of inspiration for his work. Book review.
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.
ICE responds to a transport consultation advising the government to make decisions enabling more inclusive cities.