This photo reminds me of a tweet I saw several months ago that went something like this: “You know that button in the elevator with the fireman’s hat on it? Turns out that is not the button you push if you want a fireman’s hat.”
Well, I think we can all agree that this is pretty amusing. However, this button does represent a very important part of the elevator for Firefighters in Phase II of the Emergency In-car Operation. According to fireengineering.com, if smoke is present at the top of the elevator hoistway or in the machine room, the smoke detector will activate a circuit in the elevator controller. This will cause the red firefighter helmet indicator light on the control panel to begin to flash, indicating that smoke and fire are near the elevator machine or in the hoistway and that a power shunt trip is possible. The instructions on the panel state, “WHEN [fire helmet] FLASHES, EXIT ELEVATOR.” Firefighters at this time have the choice of manually opening the elevator doors at the nearest floor and exiting the elevator or attempting to return the elevator car to the primary recall floor with the risk of becoming trapped in the elevator between floors when the power shunt trip breaker operates.
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