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ASTM Committee on Performance of Buildings Establishes New Subcommittee on High-Rise Building External Evacuation Devices

Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings has established a new subcommittee, E06.77 on High-Rise Building External Evacuation Devices. The scope of the new subcommittee is “The development and maintenance of standards for terminology, specifications, performance, practices and test methods for high-rise building external, multiple-occupant (10 or more) evacuation devices, for evacuation of persons who cannot use the primary evacuation routes to a safe zone.”

The scope includes platform-based devices, slides/chutes, and controlled descent devices. It does not include rope or chain ladders, helicopters or helicopters with platforms, parachutes, balloons, or evacuation chairs.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, there has been an increased focus on egress in emergency situations occuring in multi-story buildings as well as on the ability of emergency personnel to respond effectively and to access fires and other emergencies on higher floors.

The new subcommittee will work on a series of standards for equipment to be used in situations in which primary routes to a safe zone are not accessible, with special attention to individuals with physical conditions or mobility impairments. One unique feature that some of these devices possess is the ability to transport emergency responders vertically to the scene.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the activities of Subcommittee E06.77. For further technical information, contact Wayne C. Christensen, Christensen Consulting for Safety Excellence, Ltd., Crystal Lake, Ill.(phone: 815/455-7328) or Jonathan (Yoni) Shimshoni, CEO, Escape Rescue Systems Ltd., Kadima, Israel (phone: +972-9-8992219). Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings meets Oct. 3-6 during the October Committee Week in Washington, D.C. For membership or meeting details, contact Steve Mawn at ASTM International (phone 610-832-9726). //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International