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Human Factors Considerations for the Potential Use of Elevators for Fire Evacuation of FAA Air Traffic Control Towers

Published

Author(s)

Bernard M. Levin, N E. Groner

Abstract

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is interested in the possibility of using elevators for evacuation of air traffic control towers during fire emergencies. Assuming that the FAA could design, install, and maintain elevators that could safely be used by tower occupants during fire evacuations, it would be important to study a number of human factor considerations. This report, which is partly based on interviews of occupants in thirteen FAA towers, discusses these issues. Given the fact that there has been a 20 year campaign to discourage elevator use during fire emergencies, most interviewees indicated a willingness to use such elevators as a backup mode of escape with some reluctance. The controls in the elevator would not need any major modification but a special communication system would be needed. Fire emergency plans and training are important to assure proper use of the proposed system and confidence in the safety it provides.
Citation
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - 94-656
Report Number
94-656

Keywords

air traffic control, building fires, elevators (lifts), emergencies, evacuation, fire research, handicapped, human behavior, life safety, occupants

Citation

Levin, B. and Groner, N. (1994), Human Factors Considerations for the Potential Use of Elevators for Fire Evacuation of FAA Air Traffic Control Towers, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=909286 (Accessed December 4, 2021)
Created August 1, 1994, Updated February 19, 2017