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  #21  
Old 29 June 2010, 11:44 AM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Read the placard about operation by the fire department. If it tells them to push the door close button, the button better work, at least in the fire mode.
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  #22  
Old 29 June 2010, 12:59 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
Read the placard about operation by the fire department. If it tells them to push the door close button, the button better work, at least in the fire mode.
Hijack: In a building DD and I used to frequent, some of the letters on the "Firefighter Operation" plaque were less legible than others, so it appeared to read "Firefighter Opera." DD and I had great fun making up songs for that opera.
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  #23  
Old 29 June 2010, 02:18 PM
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Kallah Kallah is offline
 
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Also, some of the buttons might be there more for when it's in firefighter mode.
I can see how a civilian getting trapped in a fiery elevator would be all sorts of bad, and thus prohibited; I've been taught from a very young age that you never, ever take the elevator and you always take the steps in a calm, orderly fashion. If elevators are so inherently dangerous during a blaze, though, wouldn't it be nearly as dangerous for the firefighters to take one as well? Sure, they have protective gear and a whole lot more experience, but neither is going to help if the power goes out and they're trapped between the 4th and 5th floors. I'm sure that the time difference between taking the elevator and walking up five flights of stairs (especially in all that gear!) could be a few minutes that make a critical difference, but isn't it still wildly risky to use the elevator in a fire?

I realize that mode might be used for things like 911 calls (to make sure the elevator is ready and waiting for the victim, etc) as well.

Last edited by Kallah; 29 June 2010 at 02:19 PM. Reason: ETA: Spelling.
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  #24  
Old 29 June 2010, 02:44 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
I can see how a civilian getting trapped in a fiery elevator would be all sorts of bad, and thus prohibited; I've been taught from a very young age that you never, ever take the elevator and you always take the steps in a calm, orderly fashion. If elevators are so inherently dangerous during a blaze, though, wouldn't it be nearly as dangerous for the firefighters to take one as well? Sure, they have protective gear and a whole lot more experience, but neither is going to help if the power goes out and they're trapped between the 4th and 5th floors. I'm sure that the time difference between taking the elevator and walking up five flights of stairs (especially in all that gear!) could be a few minutes that make a critical difference, but isn't it still wildly risky to use the elevator in a fire?

I realize that mode might be used for things like 911 calls (to make sure the elevator is ready and waiting for the victim, etc) as well.
The building codes for elevators vary from city to city. However, most high rises are required to have the elevators or at least one elevator operated by emergency power. That would be the elevator the fire department would use. Some cities such as Chicago, require all elevators remain in operation during a fire so that they may be used as means of egress. This may become more common as we continue to analyze the fires that brought down the World Trade Center towers.

ETA: By the way, a high rise building is generally defined as one in excess of 75 feet. That was set because it was the practical limit of ladder trucks. Once you eliminate exterior means of access to a building such as ladder trucks, the building must be designed to allow interior access and egress.
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  #25  
Old 29 June 2010, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by purpleiguana View Post
Most of the elevators I've been in will close almost immediately after pushing the Door Close buttons. A couple did not. I'm thinking the buttons were just broken and nobody had gotten around to fixing them yet.
More than likely, exactly this. It can work, but the button can also break.

The elevators in the hospital I work in are paralyzingly slow. There's a trick one of the maintenance guys mentioned- hold down the button for your floor. Apparently it kicks into "turbo mode" and skips the floors in between. I only used it when I was on call and sent to a given floor quickly, but that always worked.
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  #26  
Old 03 July 2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: Hi Snopes! Thanks for all the great work. Here's the story:

This one is from The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...act_paumgarten
After clicking on your link I would have to say that in my opinion *THIS* is the story


"Loading up an empty elevator car with discarded Christmas trees, pressing the button for the top floor, then throwing in a match, so that by the time the car reaches the top it is ablaze with heat so intense that the alloy (called “babbitt”) connecting the cables to the car melts, and the car, a fireball now, plunges into the pit: this practice, apparently popular in New York City housing projects, is inadvisable."

I never once heard of this happening. I have an acquaintance who works as a firefighter in a neihborhood filled with New York City housing projects. He would love to tell this story - but I never heard it. I see no on-line evidence that this is or ever was popular anywhere.

I think that arson and attempted murder is inadvisable. Is this how UL's start? In The New Yorker?

I'm recalling the "barbecue in the bathtub"
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  #27  
Old 03 July 2010, 05:19 PM
blinkingblythe blinkingblythe is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by Beastly Despot View Post
A friend told me he "knew a guy" who used to work at an elevator factory (Otis elevator is, indeed, located here in Bloomington). He said the story he heard was that the elevator company added the "door close" button when people got frustrated waiting for the door to close. The catch is, the button is not connected to anything, it's just so people feel better.

I thought that was a funny story, if nothing else. Anyone have a clue if its true?
Usualy, that button is only enabled when the elevator is put in "fire service mode", but sometimes it is enabled in regular running mode. I did see a freight elevator that had a door open/close button even though the doors were entirely manual with no motors in them!
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  #28  
Old 02 December 2012, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Ms. Christy strikes down one common myth — that "door close" buttons don't work. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, she says. It depends on the building's owner.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...385871618.html
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  #29  
Old 04 December 2012, 12:17 PM
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Atlanta Jake Atlanta Jake is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
After clicking on your link I would have to say that in my opinion *THIS* is the story


"Loading up an empty elevator car with discarded Christmas trees, pressing the button for the top floor, then throwing in a match, so that by the time the car reaches the top it is ablaze with heat so intense that the alloy (called “babbitt”) connecting the cables to the car melts, and the car, a fireball now, plunges into the pit: this practice, apparently popular in New York City housing projects, is inadvisable."

I never once heard of this happening. I have an acquaintance who works as a firefighter in a neihborhood filled with New York City housing projects. He would love to tell this story - but I never heard it. I see no on-line evidence that this is or ever was popular anywhere.

I think that arson and attempted murder is inadvisable. Is this how UL's start? In The New Yorker?

I'm recalling the "barbecue in the bathtub"
Yeah, about that... Mr. Otis made this impossible. The cars are equipped with centrifugal brakes that prevents them from falling. Watch the early episode of mythbusters where the disabled all the safety features to make a car fall. It was actually quite difficult.

Atlanta Jake
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  #30  
Old 04 December 2012, 02:20 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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That's why they're "safety elevators."
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  #31  
Old 04 December 2012, 02:28 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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Also, Babbitt metal is a soft alloy only used for bearings. The metal connecting the cables to the elevator is going to be good, strong, melts at a higher point than burning Christmas trees would cause, steel.

And actually, (IMO) there wouldn't be much of a fire anyway. An elevator (unless the cage kind) isn't going to have the kind of ventilation needed to support a major blaze. What the trick might be is to do as described, but not push any floor buttons. The trees will burn for a bit, then smoulder as the oxygen is used up. When the elevator is called to another floor, the doors will open and the fire would blaze back up, possibly injuring or killing the person who called the elevator.
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  #32  
Old 04 December 2012, 04:46 PM
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Atlanta Jake Atlanta Jake is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
...What the trick might be is to do as described, but not push any floor buttons. The trees will burn for a bit, then smoulder as the oxygen is used up. When the elevator is called to another floor, the doors will open and the fire would blaze back up, possibly injuring or killing the person who called the elevator.
Remind me not to tick you off!

/Jake
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  #33  
Old 04 December 2012, 06:11 PM
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Der Induktionator Der Induktionator is offline
 
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Elevator cabins are generally pretty well ventilated. There are ventilation slots near the floor and in or near the ceiling, these are often visible in older designs but artfully hidden in newer ones. Many additionally have a fan (Especially in the US), but the natural convection in the hoistway can bring in plenty of air.

I think you could probably maintain a good fire, without using up all the air.
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  #34  
Old 04 December 2012, 06:25 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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Anyone a member of the Mythbusters forum? I see experimenting on how big a fire trap you can create in an elevator being right up their alley.
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  #35  
Old 04 December 2012, 10:27 PM
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Horse Chestnut Horse Chestnut is offline
 
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Anyone a member of the Mythbusters forum? I see experimenting on how big a fire trap you can create in an elevator being right up their alley.
I can see the gleam in Adam Savage's eyes when he reads that.
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