Architects & Contractors

FEO/Firefighters’ Elevators

Firefighters’ Emergency Operation (FEO)

The B44 Elevator Code makes Firefighters’ Emergency Operation (FEO) mandatory for most new passenger elevators regardless of building height or occupancy. Firefighters’ Emergency Operation consists of two parts: Phase I – Emergency Recall and Phase II – Emergency In-car Operation.

Elevators for Use by Firefighters (or Firefighters’ Elevator)

A Firefighters’ Elevator is different from FEO Phase II. A Firefighters’ Elevator is one that has been upgraded to a higher fire rating level using more flame resistant components and has additional building safety requirements such as positively pressurized elevator shafts and full generator power. A Red Hat symbol on the main floor level doorjamb identifies an Elevator for Use by Firefighters.

The determination of an elevator requires the Firefighters’ Elevator designation is based the Building Code “High Building” classification. This depends on multiple factors such as building Group and Division, building occupancy, and building height.

Universal Requirements

Once FEO is enabled, the elevator must respond to the FAID emergency condition unencumbered by any security provisions in effect. This has introduced a new mode of operation for elevators with security provisions: The elevator microprocessor must over-ride the security system when FEO is enabled. Regardless of whether the building only has FEO or has a Firefighter’s Elevator as well, each single or multiple elevator shaft must have a single or combination of pit drains capable of removing a minimum of 3,000 US Gallons of liquid per hour.

A Final Word

Since both the Building Code and the B44 Elevator Code include specific requirements that affect the emergency operation of elevators, it becomes a relatively complex matter. Ideally, emergency operation issues should be addressed early in the project design phase in order to avoid extra costs to comply with the regulations later in the process.

Call Delta if you have questions regarding FEO or Firefighters’ Elevator requirements. We would be pleased to work with you to ensure your emergency operation needs are properly met!