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Fire Protection Challenges of the Americans Disabilities Act: Elevator Evacuation and Refuge Areas



J H. Klote, A J. Fowell


There is a rising concern for the safety of persons from fire who cannot travel building emergency exit routes in the same manner or as quickly as expected of able persons. One proposed solution for providing safety for persons with mobility limitations is the use of elevators for fire evacuation. Another proposed solution is the concept of areas of refuge where they can "safely wait" until they can be assisted in leaving the building. The system concepts and interrelationships of these two alternatives are discussed. An overview of an area of refuge study conducted at NIST is presented. Other topics addressed are elevator people movement, elevator water problem, and smoke control concepts.
Proceedings Title
CIB W14: Fire Safety Engineering
Report Number
Conference Dates
September 13-16, 1993
Conference Location
Conference Title
International Symposium and Workshops Engineering Fire Safety in the Process of Design: Demonstrating Equivalency. Part 1.


fire safety, handicapped, fire protection, elevators (lifts), evacuation, refuge, people movement, smoke, water, piston effect, computer programs


Klote, J. and Fowell, A. (1993), Fire Protection Challenges of the Americans Disabilities Act: Elevator Evacuation and Refuge Areas, CIB W14: Fire Safety Engineering, Newtownabbey, , [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created September 13, 1993, Updated February 19, 2017