Elevator Car Control | Elevator Keys | Elevator Evacuation (Part 1)

Carolina Fire Days instructors Chris Smity and Geoff Davis discuss elevator car control phases at Carolina Fire Days 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In part 1 of 2 of this firefighting elevator rescue training video, Carolina Fire Days instructors Chris Smity and Geoff Davis discuss using an elevator key to recall the elevators in order to evacuate the occupants, and then using the key to manually control the elevator from the inside, while also looking for signs of a fire and what level it may be on.


Phase 1 is when we take the key and the lobby of the lowest level, the designated floor, take the key, stick it in, turn it to on. That recalls all the elevators to that designated level.

In a fire situation, if the building’s on fire, we want to make sure everyone’s out of the elevators because the shaft could become a chimney.

We do that, all the elevators come down, we can clear all the elevators. Phase 1. 

Phase 2 is when we take that same elevator key.  Go inside the elevator, not the control panel. Stick that key in the keyway there. Turn it to on. Now we have control of that elevator. Stick the key in. Turn it. Put it on phase 2. We want to give it a 7. Hit the number 7. Nothing happens. 

You have to manually open and close the doors when you’re in phase 2.

As a rule when I’m doing it, I’ll put on my mask as that elevator’s going.  The first couple times you get in and put it in phase 2, You’re going to hit the number button, and then everyone’s going to stand there looking at each other waiting for the door to close, because that’s what you’re used to.

Your entire life, you’ve hit a number, the door closes. 

You put it in phase two, look up the voice way. If there’s smoke coming in,  that’s called clue. And then we might try to count. If you see rollers, we’re trying to count rollers. That tells you how many floors there are.  Once we take control of that elevator, we’re going to make sure that thing is in phase two, and it’s doing what we input it to do.