Fire protection

From the point of view of fire prevention, the most important factor when designing lift systems in Italy, and Europe as whole, is the need to compartmentalize the lift shaft with respect to other parts of the building that are subject to fire prevention regulations.

In order to achieve this, the constructor must ensure that the shaft itself is designed and built to be sufficiently fire-resistant, whereas the lift manufacturer must install fire resistant doors that conform to the applicable standards. The latter depend on the type of building in use and on the national laws and regulations.
For example, the type of fire door required in Italy is different to that required in Great Britain, which, in turn, differ from that used in France, and so on.
However, all fire doors, irrespective of flame and smoke resistance and/or thermal isolation characteristics, must be tested and certified by authorised laboratories in accordance with the harmonised Standard EN 81-58.

More generally in Europe, certain buildings must be equipped with a lift for use by firemen that provide emergency teams with rapid access to fires on any floor. These lifts must conform to the corresponding harmonized Standard EN 81-72. KOPPEL A.W. is also able to supply this kind of system.

In addition to the question of fire prevention, in the event of a fire every lift installed in Europe should be able to satisfy the requirements of the Standard EN 81-73 “Behaviour of lifts in the event of fire”. In essence, this standard stipulates that, if the system is equipped with an automatic or manual fire detector and indicator system, once it is connected to the lift it should ensure that the lift completes the last maneuver, permitting the passengers to escape from the cabin, moves to a safe floor and remains there with its doors open so that no one can become trapped inside it during the fire. All Koppel lifts are equipped with this function.

The KOPPEL A.W. technical department will be happy to supply any additional information.

Antiseismic lifts

Some areas in Europe (Italy, Greece, Romania, Portugal) have had frequent seismic events, and those had consequences also in the safety of the lifts installed there.
For this reason CEN/TC10 has recently worked out a standard for lifts in the seismic areas, EN 81-77, which establish the specifications for the lifts to be installed in those areas, depending on how they are classified.
Koppel A.W. Srl, when required, may supply lifts already conforming with this new standard, for all the different levels of severity of the possible seismic events (type 1, 2 or 3).

In particular, the electric lifts, with or without machine room, will have a counterweight which cannot escape from its guide rails, which is one of the most frequent dangerous events in the case of earthquake.
The most important thing to avoid is that, during these events, someone may go on using the lifts, with the serious risk to be trapped in the car, when the building itself after some time might collapse. Actually, in one of the last earthquake in Italy (L’Aquila), some of these events happened, even if the emergency service has been able to evacuate these persons before the collapse.

Antiseismic lifts of course are operated by an adequate switch which is able to recognize the seismic conditions, and in that case takes the control of the car, in order to evacuate the persons inside the same at the closest safe floor, and then to avoid a further use of the lift.
By the way, Koppel A.W. Srl offers hydraulic antiseismic lifts, which are considered to be safer than the equivalent electric type, because the piston based mechanics are safer than the counterweight system, and also because there is no critical equipment within the well, as it is in a MRL model.
In any case Koppel A.W. Srl shall be happy to give to clients any useful indication to give the appropriate solutions to clients.