Avoiding calling out Hampshire Fire Service to lift rescues

Lift rescues

Avoiding callouts to persons stuck in lifts

In general, less than 20% of the lift rescues we attend are emergencies. Unwanted responses such as this, divert our resources from genuine emergencies and prevent risk reduction activities designed to make communities safer.  This can pose a real risk to both the emergency services and the community.

Steps you can take to avoid calling out the fire service to a lift rescue

Lift management and maintenance

  • proper management of the lifts within premises, is the responsibility of building management or owner
  • the required risk assessment for the premises should include procedures for dealing with incidents involving persons stuck inside a defective lift, before calling the fire service. Typically this could involve on site maintenance staff or the use of a lift maintenance company
  • the requirements are that the lift is maintained in accordance with British Standard BS 7255 and the BS EN 81 Series of Standards. In the event of a person being stuck within the lift due to a defect, full use of a competent person or lift maintenance contractor should be made to resolve the issue
  • all passenger lifts in a workplace are subject to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998.  They should be tested and inspected in accordance with LOLER 1998, passenger lifts are to be inspected at least every 6 months by a competent person  
  • if a lift is subject to greater usage, more inspection will be required. Contact your lift maintenance contractor for more advice 
  • consult with an approved lift maintenance contractor 

Put together an action plan for dealing with lift incidents 

  • a release procedure for dealing with an incident involving persons stuck inside a defective lift should be introduced for each premises
  • information should be available within the lift car, for passengers stuck within the defective lift, to raise attention to enable the release procedure to be initiated
  • actuation of an alarm should be directed to suitable contact point to instigate the release procedure.  Full use of a competent person or lift maintenance contractor should be made to release these stuck persons 
  • comprehensive instructions of the manufacturers safe release procedure, should be located in a suitable position within the lift motor room
  • do not call the fire service in the event that a person is stuck inside a defective lift
  • do call the fire service should an emergency situation exist, or your in-house procedures fail
    • in response to a person stuck inside a defective lift, you should note that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service may cause damage during a release. A lift maintenance contractor may be better skilled to release occupants of lifts with less damage 

Equipment for dealing with lift incidents

  • competent persons involved in the safe release procedure, should have access to equipment and information
  • access keys to lift motor room should be readily available on site
  • suitable equipment should be located within the lift motor room. Examples include: 
    • comprehensive manufacturers instructions to follow 
    • keys for opening of lift car doors
    • release mechanism for break release or hydraulic drain  

Reduce excessive calls to lift incidents

Should you require any help regarding appropriate measures to reduce unwanted incidents involving persons stuck inside a defective lift, or appropriate procedures to be introduced for your premises, contact your lift maintenance company or our Business Education Team at  csprotection.admin@hantsfire.gov.uk.