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Emergency Evacuation Plan Guide

ASME A17.1-2007 - Section Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Elevators, Section states, "A written emergency evacuation procedure shall be made and kept on the premises where an elevator is located." It is the responsibility of the conveyance owner to develop such procedures. Note that there is no single procedure that applies to every site and every elevator; there are variables to consider when developing your evacuation plan.

In preparing your evacuation procedures, please consider the following:

  • Is the site located in a heavily populated or remote area?
  • Are personnel available to open the building after regular business hours?
  • If the building employs a security company or answering service, how might they be useful?

Written Procedures:

  • A written emergency evacuation procedure shall be made and kept on the premises where a conveyance is located.
  • The procedure shall identify hazards and detail the safety precautions utilized in evacuating passengers from a stalled elevator.
  • These procedures should be available to authorized elevator and emergency personnel.
  • You should have the contractor's number readily available to building personnel.
  • The procedure should include the actions to be taken if a situation is life-threatening.
  • Situations requiring the use of the local fire department should be included in the procedure (medical emergency).

Training and Education:

  • In a catastrophic situation in order to insure that a rescue by other than experienced elevator personnel is performed safely, the conveyance owner must select and train their employees in the proper evacuation procedures.
  • Building personnel should be given training in the proper procedures for evacuating passengers in an emergency/disaster. When training personnel advantage should be taken of the experience and expertise which may be provided by the State licensed contractor servicing the conveyance.


  • Prior to conducting an evacuation the following steps should be taken:
    • The responsible personnel in the building should immediately communicate with the occupants of the conveyance to inform them that:
      • they are safe;
      • steps are being taken to evacuate them from the conveyance;
      • they should stand clear of doors; and
      • they should refrain from smoking.
    • In communicating with the occupants information should be obtained for guidance in making decisions on actions to be taken in the evacuation:
      • the number of persons in the conveyance;
      • whether any of the occupants in the conveyance are ill or injured;
      • whether the lights are on; and
      • the location of the conveyance in the hoistway, if known.
  • The rescue team should verify that these steps have been taken, and while the rescue operation is in progress, the occupants of the conveyance should continually be kept informed and reassured of their safety.

A guide is available from ASME that may assist you in creating your evacuation procedures. You may order it online at Refer to document ASME A17.4. Please note that this standard is not officially adopted by the State of Illinois at this time.

You may contact our office for assistance in developing an emergency evacuation procedure if you so desire.

In case of emergency/disaster/catastrophe the conveyance owner must notify the office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, Elevator Safety Division, as soon as possible at the following numbers:

Elevator Safety Division - Emergency Contact: Bob Capuani, 217-720-4899
Elevator Safety Division - Main Number: 312-814-1325

It is the responsibility of the Elevator Safety Division to assess damage and insure that lockdown procedures are followed, to insure that all safety precautions are taken, and to insure that conveyance is locked down in a safe manner.