The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) is interested in the experience hospitals have had with elevator firefighter’s recall testing. Although a requirement of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ ASME A17.1 and Canadian Standards Association’s CSA B44 for many years, organizations typically were not aware of the requirement and failed to do the testing until the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other authorities having jurisdiction made it a specific requirement. 

Many elevator-service companies include monthly firefighter’s recall testing in the service contract and maintain testing documentation in elevator machine rooms for review during state elevator inspections. However, when CMS published new K-Tags related to the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code® K531, each of the health care accrediting agencies began checking to verify that hospitals are completing the monthly elevator-recall test.

CMS K-Tag K531 states:

  • Elevators 2012 EXISTING

Elevators comply with the provision of 9.4. Elevators are inspected and tested as specified in ASME A17.1, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. Firefighter’s Service is operated monthly with a written record.

Existing elevators conform to ASME/ANSI A17.3, Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators. All existing elevators, having a travel distance of 25 feet or more above or below the level that best serves the needs of emergency personnel for firefighting purposes, conform with firefighter’s service requirements of ASME/ANSI A17.3. (includes firefighter’s service Phase I key recall and smoke detector automatic recall, firefighter’s service Phase II emergency in-car key operation, machine room smoke detectors and elevator-lobby smoke detectors.)  19.5.3, 9.4.2, 9.4.3

ASHE is conducting a brief survey for health facilities professionals about firefighter’s service recall-testing experiences over the past year. This information may be used to support advocacy efforts around testing frequency requirements.

This survey will ask questions related to:

  • Number of elevators with firefighter’s service;
  • Total number of recall tests over a 12-month period (this is the number in the first bullet point times 12 if no elevators were added or removed);
  • Total number of recall-test failures over the same 12-month period;
  • Total number of staff hours expended and average hourly rate or the annual contract cost for the 12-month period of testing;
  • And, for those new to elevator testing, whether there were more deficiencies found during the initial month of testing.

To participate in this survey, health care facilities professionals should log on to