LEIA’s Nick Mellor reports on the 7th Lift & Escalator Symposium, 20 – 21 September 2017.
“As you know, in recent years we have co-organised the Lift and Escalator Symposium at Highgate House, Northampton. It is growing in importance and quality each year and is an important venue for many working in the industry. A few members took the opportunity to exhibit at the symposium; Shorts, Lester Controls and Digital Advanced Controls were among the exhibitors.
I opened the symposium along with John Sinclair of The University of Northampton. In my introductory remarks, in addition to welcoming people, and especially those new to the symposium, I took the opportunity to make some remarks about the lift industry’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Once the investigation of the Grenfell Tower fire produces its conclusions, we will have a chance to consider these. We are particularly concerned about older buildings where the fire safety provision might be a long way below that of a new building. At the same time, the fire risk is generally much higher now than when these buildings were constructed: typically the time taken before a fire flashes over is much shorter now than 40—50 years ago and can be much shorter than the time taken for the fire brigade to arrive. The proportion of people in buildings with limited mobility who are unable to use the stairs in an evacuation is generally increasing.
These factors underline the importance of fire-fighting lifts to give access for firefighters and the use of evacuation lifts to allow those with limited mobility (who are unable to use the stairs) to evacuate buildings. Once we have all had a chance to digest the implications of the Grenfell Tower fire, I believe that the lift industry will have something to say about these issues including the role of lifts in modernised buildings.”
Nick Mellor, LEIA Managing Director
The full symposium proceedings are available to download here.