Matt Davies: So for those of you who may not know me, my name is Matt Davis. I’m the Market Insight and Innovation Manager for Avire, so I drive our work with customers, understanding customers’ needs but also understanding what’s going on in the market – and so we have a particular attention on codes and standards. The innovation part of my job is then leading our new product development in terms of new product ideas and then taking those ideas through to the actual engineering stage and finally into the market. We wanted to look at EN81-28:2018 today.

Obviously EN81-28 has been around in one form or another since 2003, but I really wanted to look at first of all, some of the issues around the harmonisation of 2000, 2018 version. I’ve seen a lot of questions in the market on that.

We’ll also have a quick look at some of the key issues which drove the 2018 update. I think it’s always worth putting this sort of stuff in context for actual real-world considerations that have led to the standard being rewritten. The bulk of the presentation though, I want to do a review of specific clauses which have been updated. As much as possible I’ve tried to structure this so it’s not just me reading out chunks of the code, and we actually look at:

“OK, here’s what the standard says. How does that actually translate into what you’ll do in the real world, and potentially how people on site will actually interact with the equipment?” As Emily said, please use the Q&A box throughout and will then review those questions at the end.

So diving straight in, because the 2018 version of the standard has not yet been published in the European Journal, it cannot be considered harmonised. LEIA and the European Lift Association, and I think BSI as well, has put out a lot of detailed information about this. So without side tracking the presentation too much, this is essentially an issue which is affecting all the EN Standards at the moment and how they interact with European law.

This is based on a test case in Ireland where there was a conflict over some building standards. But what it’s led to is a number of standards not being published in the European Journal, meaning they can’t be considered harmonised. Therefore, we’re in a situation at the moment where we have the 2003 version published in effect, and we have the 2018 version published and due to come into effect- probably middle of this year.

The short answer to this and the guidance from the European Lift Association is if you certified to the 2018 Standard, because you’re certifying to the latest version, you’re fundamentally certifying to a higher level of safety. Therefore the recommendation is to certify to the 2018 Standard, and if you’re looking at equipment and the equipment says that it’s been designed to meet the 2018

Standard, by doing that it’s fundamentally meeting the requirements of the 2003 version.

As the new version was being published Avire went through a whole programme of updating our emergency telephones – both in terms of what we currently sell in the market (the Memcom that you all know and love) and also the newer devices like DCP and DAU, to make sure that everything we have meets the 2018 Standard. You effectively get

a backward compliance to the 2003 anyway because of the higher-level safety which is offered in the 2018. Really, I think this is a pretty much a non-issue and we let Sen and the European lawmakers and so on figure this out and get things published and harmonised. Meanwhile we can carry on with the 2018 version knowing that we’re offering our customers a higher level of safety.

Terms of some of the reasons why we saw the 2018 update. It really breaks down into a few key areas. First of all, the replacement of EN81-1 and -2 with the EN81-20 led to a situation where you had old versions of 81 Standards which were referencing -1 and -2, even though 1 and -2 had been withdrawn. So if we look at the 2003 version of 81-28 you had 16 different references throughout that, to either 1 and -2. A new version needed to be published to either remove or remove those references or replace them with references to -20.

There’s also been a crossover with EN81-70 for a while, specifically regarding the height of the alarm push. If you looked back to the 2003 version of -70, it gave you a minimum height of 900 meters for the alarm push, so that’s a height above the floor of the lift car. The 81-28 didn’t actually define a height.

The height is now pulled into EN81-28 and it gives you a range between 850 to 1200 mm above the floor, which aligns with the 2018 version of 81-70. Things like inductive loops and so on, sit in 81-70 still, but there was that slight crossover that needed to be cleaned up. In terms of issues that would directly affecting emergency telephones, there was an ongoing

debate around how we handle battery backup and indeed emergency for supply for GSMs. That’s now been addressed in the Standard, I have a slide on that later. A number of companies have reported issues with alarm filtering clashing with the ability of engineers to perform a manual test. Again, there’s been updates to alarm filtering, and there’s been specific language put in now that allows us to realise alarm filtering without also preventing engineers from easily placing a manual test call.

Lastly, I think there was a big need here to provide more guidance on tests before putting into service, and testing of the emergency alarm equipment in general. Again, the Section 6 for that has been greatly expanded and at the end of the presentation we will look at the additional information we’ve been given there. I think that’s probably one of the best areas in terms of the update we’ve seen.

Moving on to specific clauses within the Standard, end of alarm is something I get asked about quite a lot. You have here a requirement for a signal that essentially confirms that the alarm that was emitted from the lift has been dealt with and that we can confirm there is no user trapped. It’s worth looking at some of the specific language here because it says that that signal shall be initiated from the lift installation.

This is saying that you have some way of emitting a signal from that lift to say “I acknowledge that an alarm was placed by the emergency telephone. I’ve satisfied myself now that this trapping event has been dealt with. Take the alarm out of its emergency state and put it back into its standby state”. Obviously, this means also then needs to be accessible only to competent persons. You don’t want the ability for a trapped passenger to inadvertently place this because that would fundamentally cause you conflicts with some other areas of the Standard.

It’s really those two points initiated from the lift installation, accessible only to competent persons. Traditionally the way we saw this realised was a key switch on the COP dedicated to this function or a switch or button behind the COP. That can then be wired across to the end of alarm input on emergency telephones so both our Memcom telephone and our new Digital Audio Unit (DAU) have a dedicated input for this.

Because you’ve then either got a key switch which can fundamentally only be operated by somebody with the key, or you’ve put that behind the COP that now means that it’s only a lift engineer that can do that. A lift engineer has come out, freed the trapped passenger, they can now initiate that end of alarm. There is another way of doing this now, with the rise of motor room-based units. To use the example here of our Digital Communication Platform (DCP), you can plug a telephone handset into that unit, which gives you two things. One, it gives you an intercom down to the car to meet your 81-20 requirements on car intercoms.

But it also allows you to key in an end of alarm signal as you would if you were doing this remotely, directly at the site without needing that additional space either on the COP or behind the COP, which as we know comes at a premium on any lift – especially more modern lifts. With regards to the remote, the ability to remotely reset the alarm equipment, it is possible and essentially the Standard says it shall be possible, but it doesn’t actually replace the end of alarm input on site.

Whilst our telephones allow you to send a specific set of keystrokes for the end of alarm signal, you should also have some means on site for an engineer on site, for a competent person, to be able to send that signal.

All of this becomes more important because when we look later on at the visual and audible signal clause, 4.1.5, your yellow pictogram, which used to be your essentially alarm place pictogram, that will now stay lit until the end of alarm signal is sent. On equipment which is compliant to EN81:28-2018 if it hasn’t seen that end of alarm signal, either remotely or from an input on site, you’re gonna end up with that yellow pictogram permanently lit.

There will be an indication in the car that the unit is still in its alarm state. The reason all this is important is when an emergency telephone goes into an alarm state, it’s much easier to then dial back into it and then basically listen into the car.

The functionality is always set up that once an alarm’s been placed, I can dial back so I can speak to a trapped passenger so that I can reassure them, I can update them on how the rescue is going. But obviously if you then leave that emergency telephone in its alarm state, it’s the equivalent of having a telephone off hook somewhere in the room, which allows people to listen into the car. There is there a privacy concern, which is why all this is written into EN81-28.

Something I get asked about a lot a couple of ways of doing it and it will become more important because of the way it affects pictogram operation.

Emergency power supplies. Battery performance, battery monitoring is a conversation that we have a lot with customers. Key change here is we’ve moved from saying that the battery needs to have one hour of function to saying it’s one hour of function including 15 minutes of voice communication. There is no point providing a battery backup which won’t support voice. There was, I’ve never seen one myself, but there was talk of cheaper units entering the market in Europe where whilst the battery was good enough to support one hour of function, when you moved to voice it quickly drained down.

This ultimately is on the manufacturers to test and confirm for you. We test all of our batteries above and beyond the requirements of the Standard. It’s not practical to have an engineer on site waiting for a battery to drain down. So really what you’re looking for there, is in the documentation that comes with the alarm equipment and insurance from us the manufacturers, that we’ve done that testing and that we can confirm that our battery applies.

Battery monitoring, means still has to be provided to automatically inform you when there’s a failure of the emergency supply. That’s now been updated to, say, indicate at the installation of a failure of the emergency electrical power supply.

Lot of questions on that. First of all, to deal with how these systems traditionally worked under the 2003 Standard, during an alarm call you would get an audible warning to inform the operator that the power supply… the battery fundamentally had now drained below that one hour of function. That’s still there.

All of our emergency telephones will automatically dial out and place a what we call technical call, if they notice that their battery is failing to charge. So if you’ve got a lift where there’s a lot of interruption, for whatever reason, to the mains power supply, and you’re stressing that battery to the point where the battery fails and can no longer hold a charge, as good as battery technology gets and as good as rechargeable battery technology gets, ultimately, every cell has a finite life

and when it hits that point, our telephones are able to tell that the batteries are no longer holding a charge and will actively push that message out to the monitoring platform.

In terms of indication that the installation, a lot of people have raised requests around this. The general interpretation is that you have an indicator LED on the unit, or you have an LCD on the unit, like Memcom, which tells you on that emergency telephone itself an indication of the battery condition. So obviously Memcom with its LCD has been able to tell you this, for I believe, actually going back to when we introduced the unit in 2009.

We’ve always had a battery status indication. On our DCP you have a dedicated battery status LED. An engineer walking up to a piece of equipment straight away knows “is my battery good, is my battery charging or is my battery failing to hold the charge and I now need to replace it?”

Continuing on with this, battery monitoring is something that I also get asked about a lot. One of the things that’s been brought up over the last few years is with the rise of the use of GSM and cellular gateways in general actually, there’s been questions around…

The diagram that you can see there, for those of you who may not be familiar with it, is the diagram which is given at the end of EN81-28 showing the scope of the Standard.

We’re talking here about the alarm equipment, which is that box #8 that I’ve circled in purple. Everything inside the dotted line is what’s within the scope of EN81-28. Everything outside of that, technically, is not in the scope of the Standard.

This led to interesting questions around GSM, which technically if it’s a standalone GSM, it counts as the transmitter. Fundamentally, the transmitter sits outside of the Standard. As we’ve seen a move towards the emergency telephone and the GSM becoming essentially the same unit, and the example here was with our DCP, where you have the GSM circuitry, and you have the emergency telephone circuitry all in the one device. “How do I know handle my battery monitoring?” The Standard has been updated to address this.

It says that where the transmitter is integrated in the alarm system, the requirements of the Standard regarding the emergency electrical power shall apply to the transmitter. So effectively, if I’ve put my emergency telephone and my GSM into one unit, everything we saw on the previous slide around that one hour of backup, 15 minutes of voice within that one-hour ability, to automatically inform you of a failure, I now have to apply that equally

to the emergency telephone and the GSM. So, the next question I get asked is what about standalone GSMs? If I’m using one of your Memcom telephones and I’ve switched it away from a landline to a GSM, does that mean that EN81-28 doesn’t apply to the GSM? OK, technically it is a transmitter and therefore it’s outside of the scope. However, in my opinion, common sense would dictate that if I have a battery backed GSM, that battery backing should behave in the same way as the battery backing for my emergency telephone. A power failure is a great time to have a lift trapping.

As good as we got on automatic recovery and battery backing for lifts, we do know that power failures knock lifts out and can lead to trappings.

If I’ve taken the time to source an EN81-28 compliant emergency telephone with that robust battery backup, it makes no sense in my opinion, to have then gone out and bought a GSM which is either not battery backed or has a battery that I can’t monitor or won’t meet the Standards. Again, all of the GSMs which are via has sold for the last 10 years, up to and including what we sell today, the battery – if it is a separate battery – will behave in exactly the same way. Same level of backup, and that ability to send those automatic alerts where it needs to.

Information in the lift car. So this is defined as visual and audible signals. Your visual signals are your pictograms, so these are integrated in or above the car operating panel (COP).

An update to 2018 says that the pictograms, or the visual signals to use the language of the Standard, should be in accordance with this ISO Standard 4190-5, and it refers you in there to table C.1. And it says your yellow pictogram should conform to symbol one ( you can see on the right hand side there, symbol one is these two bell icons), and the green should conform to number 8 (you can see at the bottom there the picture of the person with the headset and the person talking).

A lot of people have interpreted this as OK somewhere alarm equipment has to exactly look like that, and dare I say it’s some manufacturers have pushed that as an idea in the market. If you actually look at that ISO Standard and you look at the table, you’ll see this piece of text: The symbols used should be approximately as shown, and these are only typical and need not be reproduced exactly. So what that’s saying is, in the ISO standard, and giving you an idea of what these need to look like

but they don’t need to look exactly like this. So if you think about the selection of equipment that you see into the market today, we all as a rule follow that the yellow pictogram looks like the little bell alarm icon and the green pictogram is some version of a person talking, a person receiving and so on. These should be reasonably interpretable for people who are hard of hearing, and that’s why we have the visual signals there. But don’t be fooled into thinking that if it doesn’t look exactly like it does on that table it’s not compliant. Provided that it looks approximately like that, you’re absolutely fine.

The audible signal… some updates have been added here around what that volume should actually be, and so they give you the sound pressure level point at which you need to measure it, and they make this point about it being adjustable to suit site conditions.

Another point in there is that the audible signal doesn’t need to be continuous. There’s a couple of things here. Firstly, I’m of the opinion that in-field decibel measurements are most likely to be impractical. The type of equipment that you would need to buy and get an engineer to use is possible. As I say, personally I don’t think it’s practical and it’s going to fall more to again us manufacturers performing

lab tests on our device to assure you that you can meet that decibel range that you see there. Really, it’s again about common sense, can a trapped passenger hear it. So that’s the adjustable to suit site conditions. If I’m installing an emergency telephone in a lift in a library, it doesn’t need to be very loud for that trapped passenger to hear it. If it’s a busy shopping centre or maybe a distribution centre, it will need to be louder.

In terms of the actual audible signal, there’s a couple of things we have here. Typically, when you press the alarm button, the emergency telephone will play what’s called the reassurance message. So again, using the example of our equipment, you press the alarm button, and you will hear the voice of former employees of ours actually saying “Alarm activated. Dialling emergency number now”. You’ve then also got the ringing tone. Again, we’re talking here about a trapped passenger who is visually impaired in some way. They’ve found the alarm button (because of the requirements for alarm buttons to be tactile and so on) and having pressed it, they’re now getting that audible signal back to know that the unit is working, it’s dialling the number and it fundamentally they’re able to reach help.

Alarm filtering is probably an area where I see relatively low level of compliance in the market. This is based on sort of site visits I’ve done and conversations I’ve had. I think there’s a few reasons for that which the new standard actually goes some way to addressing.

So what we’re talking about here is the fact that the Standard is about entrapments. EN81-28 is about people being trapped in lifts. It’s not about using the lift alarm for other emergencies. Therefore, if you can’t be trapped, you really shouldn’t be able to place an alarm, The Standard provider allows us to say that the alarm system should be capable of not initiating alarm under certain circumstances.

When the car is in the unlocking zone and the car and landing doors are fully open, or if/and rather (and/or – you could argue with both ways) if the car is running. Because in both situations if I’m parked at a floor with my doors open, I can’t be trapped in that lift because I can just step out onto the landing. If the car is running, I don’t actually know if I’m trapped yet until the lift stops and I see if the doors open or not.

A filtering input is provided on the emergency telephone. This then needs to be wired into the lift in some way to determine if the list lift is in one of those above states. Typically, we see these wide across the door operator and the emergency telephone is looking for whether the doors are open or not. Obviously, it’s going to depend on lift to lift and quite frankly, door operator to door operator, how easy that is to pick up. This is again an area where our Technical Support team can give guidance to technicians on site if they are struggling to do that.

Hinged landing doors. Obviously, these are still about in the market. They’ve added for that, that the requirement for hinged landing doors now is car doors fully open and landing doors unlocked. That does rely on the passenger actually pushing the door to open it. But there’s only so much we can do.

You’ve also got the three second delay tied up in this as well. If the alarm button is pressed for a time shorter than three seconds, the alarm system can also filter, i.e., not place that alarm. What we’re looking for here is to reduce the risk of accidental or potentially nuisance initiations of the alarm. So if somebody presses the alarm button by accident because they weren’t looking, they were looking to press stores, open doors closed.

If you’ve got a child in the car who sees that nice red yellow button and jumps up and whacks it, we don’t want to be handling those alarm calls. The three second delay is in there to say if you’re trapped, you’re going to hold that alarm button down for three seconds and you’ll be able to place that call.

Obviously alarm filtering causes us problems when we try and manually test an alarm on site.

Engineers going out for maintenance visits, service visits, also building personnel wanting to test the alarm in the lift. We see a lot of retail spaces, and so on, wanting to send someone in every morning before they open that retail unit, press the alarm button – “Do you get through to the rescue service? Is everything in order?” Well, if I walk into the lift and the lift is parked with the doors open the alarm filtering says I shouldn’t be able to place an alarm.

Well, OK then how can I place my manual test? The addition to the Standard here says filtering should be bypassed when the initiation device is continuously pressed for an adjustable time up to 30 seconds. What this then means is we have our three second delay so that we don’t get our nuisance calls. But it also means that a lift engineer or a member of building personnel can go in, can hold that alarm button down and isn’t going to end up conflicting with the alarm filtering.

Three-day test calls. This is obviously a super important part of the Standard where we’re looking to say “can I reach out every three days, place my test call so that I know my alarm equipment is working?” A couple of points to note here. The frequency is at least every three days, but on agreement with the installation owner you can reduce that. I’ve seen emergency telephones set up to place alarm calls every 12 hours.

I’ve seen it set up to place an alarm call every day. It’s entirely up to your agreement with the installation owner. Obviously, the more the device calls out, the higher their phone bill is gonna be. Big change here was the introduction of this language that the test call shall use the same connection means as used for an alarm call.

When we were dialling out over landlines, that was fine because you always dialled out over the same landline. As we see the rise of GSMs being used, there’s obviously the data channel on the GSM. Now the data channels are attractive because it’s much easier to transfer test information as data than it is to try and transfer it as DTMF tones over the voice channel. Those of you who attended our last webinar talking about changes to landline system heard a little about that. And we actually have a webinar in two weeks’ time where we’re going to talk about GSM and mobile communication, where we’re going to this in a little more detail.

However, the way the Standard is now written, when you place that test call, it’s fine to transfer your test information as data, but you do also need some test of the voice channel. If I again reference how our GSMs work, so our 2018 compliant versions, as well as transferring that test data on the data channel, they do open up the voice channel and place a quick test over there to make sure both channels are working. It’s an area where there’s been a lot of different and quite frankly wild claims in the market. There’s been some interpretation sent up to Sen, I believe as well. Basically, alarm calls are about voice communication, so you need some sort of test of the voice channel every three days.

The other thing they’ve brought in is indication of a failed test call. Your emergency telephone is dialling out every three days to your monitoring platform (in our case that’s the Avire Hub, you may have our older system as well, ETR), and you would see in both of those systems where you had failed test calls but you never had an indication in the lift itself.

What they’ve brought in now is, again looking at pictogram operation. If I fail to place my test call for whatever reason, those pictograms are now going to flash to indicate that failure. That’s going to occur one out at least one hour after the last failed call, and until the unit is able to place a successful call. That’s going to be one second on one second off flashing in the car.

That’s important so that building owners understand that they have an emergency system in place, but it may not be working because it’s failed to place its call. Obviously, you as lift companies will have seen this in the platform, but it now gives us a solution at both ends for people to know that something’s wrong.

Last piece is on Section 6, so if you look back at the 2003 Standard, Section 6, which was I believe entitled Test before putting into service it said Test before putting into service shall cover the function of the alarm system. Not hugely helpful, not a huge amount of guidance as to what you should be doing.

So with Section 6, we’ve now got three pieces to this technical compliance documentation, which just says that the Technical Compliance documentation that you should be provided shall facilitate verification according to 6.2. 6.2 is your verification of design and then 6.3 is your examinations and tests before putting into service.

6.2 outlines for us the methods by which we can verify that alarm equipment complies with clauses 4 and 5.

Fundamentally, what we’ve just looked at how alarm equipment should behave. It’s in the form of a table and it outlines different verification means from visual inspections to actually performing tests and checks on performance where you need to perform a specific measurement and when you need to check drawings and calculations. The last one is where you need to verify user information, which is essentially: is it in the manual?

And again, very easy to use. It’s something which would be easy to reproduce for engineers to follow and also for anyone performing these verification and tests before putting into service.

Moving on to our examinations and tests before putting into service. Breaks down quite nicely now into checking the alarm itself. So essentially you place your standard voice alarm call and check that the rescue service responds. Check that that response suits site conditions, so again, can I actually hear what’s going on?

You need to test the end of alarm and again it’s checking the signal can be initiated from the listings from the lift installation itself.

Emergency electrical power supply simulate a mains failure?

Check that your emergency power supply kicks in. Also check that there is the indication at the installation for a failure of the emergency electrical supply. So effectively reapply the mains, disconnect the battery and make sure that that LED or that LCD indication is giving you the indication you would expect if you saw a failed battery. For us, does our LED turn red?

Information in the lift car. Here you’re checking your pictogram operation.

And lastly, on communication, you’re checking that with the car and landing doors not fully open, you can place that alarm call and that you can reinitiate the alarm before the end of alarm signal is sent. Obviously, this is a brief overview that’s laid out for you in a lot more detail. But again, a nice set of tests that we can all agree on. We’re all singing from the same hymn sheet here, versus the one line that we were given back in 2003. So, as I say, in my opinion, this is one of the better bits of the update.

So a slightly whirlwind tour of EN81-28 there. I’m intently aware that I am a little over time. Apologies for that. Moving on to any questions that we’ve received them.

Emily: Thanks Matt for that. That was great. Hopefully, everyone found that very useful. We’ve got three questions so far.

A couple of product questions: how long will the backup battery on the Memcom and DCP work for in the event of a power cut? And how often do they need changing? Is there a way that people can be alerted to know they’ll need changing remotely?

Matt: As I said, we certify our battery backups to be in line with EN81-28. I know from testing that we are actually able to support systems for a lot longer. Memcom with its lead acid battery, (and again, I’m talking about lab tests here, not what we specifically certify in our documentation) but Memcom will give you around about four hours. DCP, I believe again comes in around about the three-hour mark with its battery. But obviously if you’ve got those two things working in combination, you’ve got a good 3-4 hours there. In terms of how often they need changing, we do mark on the units when the batteries were installed.

Any battery has a certain shelf life even up, including those nice big test batteries that Tesla makes. But our batteries typically need to be replaced every three years. This information can be notified back to you on our monitoring platform, the Avire Hub. There is a way of checking that, and certainly if you have a failure before that time because for whatever reason the battery’s been stressed. As I said, a technical call will automatically be placed for that one.

Emily: Is there anything in the standards specifying how bright the pictograms need to be illuminated to? Is there a requirement to have a light for the benefit of a trapped passenger?

Matt: There’s less around specific illumination levels for the pictograms themselves. I didn’t cover it here because it’s not specifically an update to EN81-28, but your emergency lighting requirements in the car does specify a specific lux level at the alarm initiation point itself.

This can even be done by measuring the level of light that you’ve got there based on your emergency lighting supply. Also, when you have backlit alarm buttons (the buttons that we supply, typically backlit and obviously from manufacturers like Dewhurst and so on), that will count. And a number of accessories we provide, we actually give you a little strip on there or somewhere on the unit which will light up, which will give you that indication at the alarm initiation point, making it easier to find so a few different ways of doing that. Most if not all of it, can be realised with one sort of accessory or another.

Emily: Thank you. How often will Avire’s products so Memcom or DCP, keep retrying to place a three-day background test call if it fails?

Matt: I would actually need to check this, but I will tell you off the top of my head. If you have a failed background call for whatever reason, Memcom and DCP will wait 12 hours and then will try again and effectively it will continue to try on that cycle up to an including its three-day call. So as soon as we got to background call we will then try and initiate it later on. The reason you don’t want telephones repeatedly dialling out and desperately trying to place their calls (something we actually refer to, as manufacturers, as hyperactivity) is that’s the point where you’re quickly rack up very high phone bills. If you see a unit trying to dial out every minute to place its test calls, and if you do that for three days, you can have customers hit with several hundred pounds.

So yeah, that’s the cycle and that I will double check that. If I’ve in any way got it wrong, we will include an errata piece when we send this out.

Emily: Perfect, thank you Matt. Is there any reason why the end of alarm signal can be provided by the door open or door zone signal?

Matt: Is there any reason why? That’s an excellent one, Matt Mullender. What I would say there is there might be a question around to what extent that’s been initiated by a competent person. I would think though within the requirement of the Standard, if you’ve been able to get that door open, it implies that you’ve dealt with the trapping. So yeah, off the top of my head I would say provided you could wire across to that and pick up that signal, that would be quite a creative way of doing it, yeah.

Emily: On testing, should there not be an external call back into the lift also to ensure that the line is correctly configured? For example, doesn’t go through a telephone switchboard.

Matt: Yes, so let me think about this. So you certainly have to dial out, and I do believe that Phil is right here and I that and that there is a requirement that you have to dial back in as well. That is a very good point actually. Again, I will double check the Standard, but I believe that there is indeed a requirement to be able to dial back in to make sure that you can re-establish that two-way communication with a track party.

Emily: Another product question is: I understand that the Avire’s DCP will work using one SIM card with up to four lifts. So what happens if all four lifts have trapped passengers in? What is the answering sequence? How does that work?

Matt: There’s a couple of things here when it comes to alarm emission. Fundamentally if you have emergency telephone sharing a line, be that a landline or a SIM card, the first piece of equipment to enter its alarm state and dial out will be able to contact the outside world, at which point the other three will keep trying to connect.

Fundamentally that is no different from if the line was held up for any other reason. What you get there is, you just go back to your standard operation whereby our units can have up to four alarm numbers programmed into them. So the other three, whilst that first alarm call is going on, we’ll just begin to cycle through that sequence of four alarm numbers and they’ll try each of those four up to a maximum of believe 9 times. The reason we do put a top out on it is we have to because of communication standards in the UK which says that you can’t have an automatic dialling system just hammer one number until it gets through. These things were introduced to prevent some of the automatic dialling systems that were being used in call centres and so on, where it would batter a single telephone number until somebody picked up,

and it would then ask them if they’ve been involved in an accident or miss sold PPI and so on. But you know, ultimately, you’ve got a number of attempts at four different alarm numbers. Reasonably, there’s no reason all four of those in that time won’t be able to dial out and speak to somebody. And also, the Standard has an assumption at the beginning which points out that the Standard assumes that you don’t have an environmental situation which causes mass trapping events. It’s specifically in a geographic area, but also in theory, multiple trappings in a building. Hopefully that answers that question.

Emily: BS8486-5 lift alarm systems conforming to BS EN81-28 appears to duplicate Clause 6. Do you have any comments on this? Any thoughts?

Matt: Interesting, I don’t know what the plans are about updating or if there are indeed any plans to update BS8486. I think that’s right there is that there is a lot of similarity there now. In all honesty, I don’t know what the plans for the British Standard are. I would imagine, again, both of these will run in parallel. If I do find out any more information, I will share that through my LinkedIn account, because that is actually an interesting question that we have two Standards trying to do very similar things now.

Emily: we have run out time little bit. I will go to a couple more questions and then any other questions we will come back to you after the webinar. Is there anything in the Standard that states the lift will automatically be placed out of service if the battery backup fails? After all the lift is now in an unsafe condition.

Matt: And I completely agree with that statement. However, that is not in the Standard. Not wanting to speak out of term, but there is traditionally a big resistance to things going into the Standards that place lifts out service. That’s all I’ll say on that, but fundamentally, no. There is not a requirement to take the lift out of service despite the fact, as Paul points out there, you can argue that it’s an unsafe condition. But no, Standard doesn’t tell you that you need to do that.

Emily: Is there anything in the Standard to cater for those hard of hearing? For example, inductive loops?

Matt: Interestingly, inductive loops doesn’t sit in EN81-28. It sits in EN81-70. Again, you could argue that it belongs in both, but I know they don’t like putting the same thing into two Standards. There is a pointer across from EN81-28 to 70, and you know, fundamentally all of the 81 Standards have a piece at the beginning that says it’s assumed that they’re all used in conjunction. So yeah, you’ll find your inductive loop requirements over in 70. Speaking for us, increasingly we’re building inductive loops into our units so that you don’t have to worry about two separate pieces of equipment.

Emily: And just one more question Matt, unless you can see any are quick to answer, is there any reason why the end of alarm signal could not be generated by a switch on or adjacent to the autodialling unit?

Matt: Absolutely not. Again, depending on where you’ve installed the autodialler (provided that it’s only accessible to competent persons – so lift engineers, which, let’s be honest, would be pretty much every case it would be), yeah. You could have them switch or something else either next to the unit. Or as I say, with ours, once you’ve plugged the handset in, you can send it directly from the handset into the unit. But yeah, our end of alarm inputs are open inputs in that regard. Within reason, however you want to generate that signal, our telephone would be able to recognise it and place it back.

Emily: If you’ve asked any other questions, we will send you responses. I’ll put some other responses in my follow up email later in the week. I will be sending out the recording. You should receive that on Friday and our next webinar, as you can see is in a couple of weeks’ time, on cellular gateways and mobile networks. When you exit this webinar, you will, as I said earlier, receive a survey. I’d really, really appreciate the feedback. It would be great, and we can also find out some more topics that would be of interest to you all. I hope that you stay safe and well and we’ll see you all at the next webinar.

Matt: Indeed, thank you for your time, everybody.

Emily: Thank you goodbye.


Additional resources: EN81-28 2018 webinar presentation.

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