With the move to digital switch, it’s important to ensure standards continue to be complied with as well as understand how all the people responsible for the lift management will be affected and if or how their responsibilities could shift.

Lifts Regulations 1997

In the UK, the Lifts Regulations 1997 state that an emergency lift phone must be installed inside every lift to ensure passenger safety.


Compliance to the Lifts Regulations is demonstrated though the use of the EN81 series of designated European standards.

EN81-28, the standard for lift emergency phones, require that a test call be placed every 3-days prove the emergency phone is in good working order. Records of these calls then need to be maintained to prove that the unit has been maintained in a compliant state.

Additionally lift emergency phones must have backup power for 1 hour (including 15 minutes of voice), in the event of the mains power failing.

Phone line (suitable communication link)

Standards don’t cover the provisioning of the phone line, or another suitable communication link, as it is assumed that a negotiation (discussion and agreement)  has taken place between the lift owner and the maintenance provider to ensure the provision of a suitable communication link.

In the case of a phone line, as the line is provisioned by the lift owner, it is also the responsibly of the lift owner to ensure the line is suitable for lift emergency communication.

Switch to fibre lines

With the move to fibre lines, a change in the setup of the emergency lift phone is required to ensure it continues to operate as expected.

The switch to fibre means there is a switch from analogue to digital data transmission, as well as a removal of the 48V supply that old copper lines offered (line voltage)).

The removal of analogue signal will impact 3-day test calls and the removal of line voltage means that in the event of a mains power failure the phone line will fail leaving the lift phones useless.

The rollout of fibre lines has already started and completion in the UK is planned for the end of 2025.



Fully digital solution upgrade

Updating the setup to utilise a fully digital solution offers lift owners compliance, reliability, and security in the call connection. By replacing the existing audio unit with a Digital Communication Platform, an M2M non-roaming SIM card and a digital audio unit, the setup becomes futureproof and ensures the maintenance and monitoring remain with the lift maintenance provider.

Analogue update

Updating an analogue system will require the addition of new pieces of equipment to the existing emergency lift phone.

There are different options for the update, with the addition of a Digital Communication Platform and an M2M non-roaming SIM card being a better choice.

Traditional setup

In other cases the change may require a larger change in the setup such as including a series of battery backups for the different pieces of equipment and an Analogue Telephone Adaptor.

The risks with this setup may include:

  • The transmission remains analogue and therefore subject to distortion
  • It is difficult to source compatible equipment
  • Maintaining the battery backups can present an additional challenge
  • As these pieces fall outside the scope of the chain of communication, in many cases, the maintenance and monitoring responsibility shifts to the lift owner, including managing the records of the 3-day test calls

Find out more about how AVIRE can help you futureproof your emergency lift communications.

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