Changes to Annual Firefighters’ Emergency Operation (FEO) TestingDoug Guderian
The requirements for building owners with elevators equipped with Firefighters’ Emergency Operation (FEO) are changing on May 1, 2012. The changes are not major, but prudent building owners will ensure that they are in compliance and that their firefighters elevators are being tested regularly. This article is a summary of the new requirements with links to the appropriate documents.
Prior to the issuing of Director’s Order 239/10 in June of 2010, building owners were required to perform regular testing of FEO by the Ontario Fire Code. This testing did not always happen since there was reasonably little enforcement and the enforcing authorities in many cases had reasonably limited knowledge of the specific FEO requirements. That all changed with TSSA taking over the enforcement. This Director’s Order requires annual FEO testing to take place and the results to be available for TSSA and the elevator mechanic to see. Some building owners have “Authorized Personnel” (persons who have been instructed in the operation of the equipment and designated by the owner to use the equipment), who perform these tests and put the checklist with the results in or near the elevator log book in the elevator machine room. The majority of the building owners have simply hired their elevator maintenance contractors to perform this testing on their behalf. This process is often much simpler since, with the majority of the elevator service agreements, the correction of any problems found during the testing is included with the agreement.
When the TSSA elevator inspectors come to the building, they verify that there is completed documentation to show that the FEO testing has been done within the last 12 months. If it has not been done, the inspector will write up a deficiency against the owner and will have to return and charge extra fees to ensure compliance.
Changes on May 1, 2012
On May 1, 2012 the new version of the Elevator Safety Code (ASME A17.1-2010 / CSA B44-10) comes into force through the Director’s Order 250/11, – Elevating Devices Code Adoption Document Amendment.
Section 8.6.11 on page 36 of this document spells out the new requirements for annual FEO testing. The major changes are as follows:
- If the owner’s authorized agent performs the test, the TSSA form from Director’s Order 239/10 must now be used.
- The owner’s authorized agent must now leave a copy of the completed test form at the location of the log book.
- Alternatively, a registered elevating devices contractor can perform the tests and once the test passes successfully, he can document this with a single elevator log book entry.
One More Important Requirement for High Buildings
High buildings are typically residential buildings over 7 storries (18.0 meters or more from grade, where a fire truck would park, to the highest occupied level) There are some other occupancies in the building code that are clasified as high buildings with shorter buildings. If you are not sure about your building check the building code.
Section 7.2 of the Ontario Fire Code requires FEO testing at three month intervals in high buildings.
TSSA currently does not monitor, verify or inspect this quarterly testing.
The Actual Text of the New Requirements (from page 36 of Director’s Order 250/11)
8.6.11 Special Provisions
188.8.131.52 Firefighters’ Emergency Operation. (239/10)
(a) Elevators that incorporate any form of Firefighters’ Emergency Operation are required to have this operating mode tested on an annual basis to verify that the firefighters’ feature is operational and ready for use by firefighters or emergency personnel if required during a fire or other emergency.
(b) The minimum required inspection checks shall be those listed on the form “Maintenance Checklist for Firefighters’ Emergency Operation ‐ Record of Inspection Checks”
(c) The owner or the owner’s authorized agent may perform the necessary annual testing provided they are trained and instructed in the use of Firefighters’ Emergency Operation and the testing requirements.
(d) The owner or the owner’s authorized agent shall record the results of the test on the form provided by the designated administrative authority or on a form containing not less than the tests prescribed on this form, and shall leave a copy at the location of the log book.
(e) A record of findings shall be recorded and shall be available to elevator personnel and to the authority having jurisdiction.
(f) Any deficiencies found during the testing shall be recorded and rectified.
(g) Despite, (d) and (e) where the owner’s authorized agent is a registered elevating devices contractor employing an appropriately qualified EDM mechanic capable of rectifying deficiencies’, a single log book entry shall be permitted to indicate a successful test of Firefighters’ Emergency Operation.
1) It is the responsibility of the elevating devices owner to ensure firefighters’ emergency operation testing is performed annually.
2) Section 7.2 of the Ontario Fire Code requires testing at three month intervals in high buildings.