ASME A17.1-2019 posed challenging requirements for the E&E industry in North America – and they are already on the way to becoming global.
What is two-sense emergency communication?
ASME A17.1-2019 defines a new standard for emergency communication that considers the needs of hearing- and speech-impaired passengers. Two-sense emergency communication means that a person trapped in an elevator can communicate with the emergency call center not only through a voice connection (i.e. using hearing) but can also make an emergency call using another sense (visual perception). For this, the emergency communication must be additionally equipped with a system that allows for a text-based chat function between the trapped passenger and authorized personnel in the emergency call center. In addition, cameras are required that allow authorized personnel to have a look inside the cabin in case of an emergency.
Will these new requirements affect other countries?
The current European norms do not consider people who are hearing-impaired, cannot speak, or who do not understand the language used in the signage or emergency call center. They are therefore not in line with the ongoing efforts to make elevators increasingly barrier-free. Thus, requirements of a two-sense emergency call as defined by ASME A17.1-2019 have already been included in some tenders for European construction projects. Also, in some standardization committees, the implementation of the two-sense emergency call in national regulations is already being discussed. So, the answer is yes, it is very likely that elevator companies will face these requirements worldwide in the future.
Read more about this topic and how the E&E industry can respond to the challenges here: https://elfin.de/en/two-sense-communication/