Emergency Operation Elevator Switch Key

Key operated switches for elevators allow firefighters and emergency personnel to control an elevator during an emergency. Previously different elevator manufacturers used different keys. This created the potential of a delay for firefighters and emergency personnel to obtain the specific key for a specific elevator during an emergency. To address this problem the Vermont Elevator Safety Rules now require that existing elevators change over to a standard “FEO K1” key. With the one standard key being used statewide it will be easier and faster for firefighters and emergency personnel to find the correct key, saving valuable time in an emergency. The rules allowed two years to change over switch keys for existing elevators with a deadline of November 1, 2010. Elevator inspectors are still finding keys that have not been changed to the correct switch key. Switch keys for fire fighters’ emergency operations on any existing elevator are required to be changed to the standard “FEO K1” key. The cost of replacement varies between $200 and $800 per elevator car due to the wiring changes that may be involved. This requirement to have a common switch key for fire fighters’ emergency operations does not otherwise require fighters’ emergency operations to be installed for an elevator that does not currently have it. All existing elevators having a travel distance of 25 ft or more above the level that best serves the needs of emergency personnel for fire fighting or rescue purposes is required to have fighters’ emergency operations.


Code Highlights