ASTM COMMITTEE TO CRAFT EVACUATION DEVICE STANDARDS
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, there has been an increased focus on egress in emergency situations occurring 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.
To that end, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) has formed a new subcommittee focused on developing standards for high-rise building external evacuation devices.
The task 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 devices such as rope or chain ladders, helicopters or helicopters with platforms, parachutes, balloons or evacuation chairs.
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 the subcommittee. Visit www.astm.org for more information.