Looking for information on elevator video communication in regards to the 2018 International Building Code update? Get your info here.
Now let’s get down to the changes– You can find a bulk of the updated language in Section 2.27.1: Car Emergency Signaling Devices.
ASME A17.1/CSA B44 2019, Section 2.27.1: Car Emergency Signaling Devices has been updated to require:
- Two-way message display in the elevator cab for hearing and/or speech impaired
- A means for authorized emergency personnel to view video footage of passengers anywhere in the cab
- A means activated by authorized emergency personnel to change the cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 feet of travel
See our Elevator World article on the 2019 ASME elevator code updates.
What does this mean? The distinction here from codes past is the inclusion of requirements specifying how a person who answers an elevator entrapment call communicates with who is in the elevator. Two-way communication has always been important, but now there is more specific language to help elevator riders get the help they need. The code updates were established as a means of better assisting those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired. However, that’s not to say the updates won’t help with all calls placed from an elevator phone, especially when it comes to every day false alarms.
We’ve all been there when the elevator help phone button is pushed accidentally, and the passengers pretend it didn’t happen or, maybe just walk out of the elevator. What does a monitoring station do if it doesn’t get an answer? Monitoring stations receive up to 1,000 false calls every day, but what if a rider needs help but can’t be heard? These updates will allow for clarity, thus preventing more unnecessary dispatches for help.
The accomplishments these changes intend to meet include providing additional assurance, not only for those placing the call for help but also for those answering the call. If a passenger does not or cannot respond– possibly because they are speech- or hearing-impaired– the new code means emergency personnel will now be able to use a nonverbal means to communicate. This can be accomplished by posting messages in real-time on an in-car display. Operators will select prewritten messages, and passengers will be able to respond “yes” or “no” back to the monitoring personnel using the “Door Open” and “Door Closed” pushbuttons, like the example shown below.