Thursday, March 23, 2017

As Condo Towers Get Taller, Elevators Rise to the Challenge - WSJ

For those in the Security Field and more importantly in the Protection Field Elevators can become one of your biggest nightmares. Most Security Specialists in the US Secret Service have gone through at least one elevator inspection training class, and have a fairly good working knowledge of the different types and the problems associated with each type. But just for fundamentals, elevators are made to stop in most jurisdictions when fire alarms are pulled or smoke detectors go off. In many cases the elevators will all close and go to ground opening up to discharge any passengers still on them. You need to know how the elevators you will be dealing with work. If a bad guy knows the situation then setting a fire or pulling an alarm will send all the elevators to the ground floor and waiting for the elevators to ground is a valid attack plan. Perhaps your plan is to stop the elevator at the 2nd floor and get your clients off safely, be careful most will only go to ground once a fire alarm is pulled or a detector goes off. Fireman's keys can be life savers, but remember most are only a wrench type device that allows you to open the elevator doors, I have used them a number of times to get clients out of elevators that have just stopped. There is now also fire keys that allow you to override the programming of the elevators and a you can use them to get people safely out of buildings like folks in wheel chairs and such, but you must know how the override keys work on the elevators you are dealing with, not all are the same, and some jurisdictions will only allow the elevator to come to ground. Next is in these high rise buildings you almost are all ways above where a fire truck ladder can reach you. In most cases the fire trucks can not reach above the 5 th floor, and often only the 4th floor, once again it is up to you to find out what the restrictions are in the building you are at. New air packs can be great for providing you and your team as well as your client enough air to exit a building, or using filter masks to try and get enough air to safely get out of the building. Training with a Scott Air Pack like we are used to seeing firemen use is still a good skill to have, one pack can if used correctly get you and another person safely out of a building. Once again remember it is up to you to make sure that any air packs or filters are actually in a working condition. In approximately 50 % of the time air packs or air filters masks at buildings are stored for events, by the time they are going to be used, they are out of date, and not operational. Just some points you may want to have in that advance book to use as a check list.
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