High rise buildings:
High rise buildings have their own particular requirements for fire safety and for fire fighting. Means of escape rely on most people descending the stairs to the final exits at ground level. But not everyone might be able to do this. The buildings invariably have lifts in them so in must be expected that people with limited mobility will be on upper floors.
People with limited mobility includes people in wheelchairs and also many other people who are slower than normal at walking, either on the level on down stairs.
Sometimes evacuation of people with limited mobility can be undertaken using dedicated evacuation lifts or using the fire fighting lifts before the arrival of the fire service. Fire fighting lifts and evacuation lifts are virtually equivalent in terms of fire protection to the lift enclosure and escape route from it and in terms of duplicated power supply to protect against loss of power.
If fire fighting lifts are used to evacuate disabled people before the arrival of the fire service then efficient and rapid procedures must be in place and the staff must be well trained to ensure that disabled people can be evacuated from the building before the fire service need the lift. If there are a number of fire fighting lifts in the building it is unlikely that the fire service will need all these lifts immediately upon arrival and sometimes procedures are instigated that will allow continued use of a fire fighting lift for evacuation while the fire service are accessing the fire by using an alternative lift.