Understanding Elevator Safety Codes

Owning an elevator or other conveyance equipment is a big responsibility. Whether it’s an elevator, escalator, or another piece of equipment, it can provide critical functions to businesses and homes. But making sure this equipment is operating safely and effectively is of the utmost importance.

To ensure their safe use, specific safety code for elevators, escalators, and associated equipment and parts is outlined in ASME A17.1: Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.

This popular safety standard addresses elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, and moving walks, as well as material lifts. It outlines requirements that apply to the design and construction, installation, operation, testing, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of this equipment. It has been used since 1921, although it’s regularly updated.

You can view some recent updates to the elevator code here.

ASME A17 also includes safety code for emergency personnel dealing with passenger evacuation in the event of a stalled car, as well as the material properties, testing, inspection, and replacement criteria for elevator suspension and compensation systems and ropes for governor applications, standards for wind turbine tower elevators, and much more.

As the elevator owner, it’s your job to ensure your elevator is up to code and safe for all passengers to use. To help make sure your elevator is up to snuff, we’ve compiled some handy information on the code requirements to get you started.

Existing Elevator Code Requirements

Elevator Cab Design

When it comes to the safety code for existing elevators and escalators, ASME A17.3 is intended to establish minimum requirements to provide a reasonable degree of safety for the general public.

In turn, these requirements will also increase safety for the elevator mechanic and inspector, although this area has not yet been specifically addressed in the code. Essentially, A17.3 is used to guide everyone involved in the installation, inspection, testing, operation, and/or insurance of existing elevators and escalators, which can help spare the substantial expense of buying all-new equipment.

Elevators are complex systems made up of a bunch of different parts. All parts of the elevator need to be inspected and maintained because if one isn’t working, it can mean the entire system isn’t working safely or effectively either.

Some of the inspection points include:

Within The Car

distance

• Checking the interior of the car for damage to the walls, ceiling, and handrails.
• Looking for lights that are burnt out (this includes indicator lights and control panel lights)
• Checking the leveling accuracy, acceleration, and deceleration and operating the elevator up and down
• Ensuring the door moves both opening and closing smoothly and doesn’t slam or bounce
• Making sure the door restrictor operates properly

Outside The Car

• Looking for any burnt out lights
• Inspecting the door panel and clearances for adequate headroom
• Testing the Phase 1 firefighters’ service which includes the smoke detector and fire alarm system for the elevator

The machine room, the top of the elevator, and the elevator pit also need to be inspected.

For example, the machine room shouldn’t contain any equipment not related to the elevator and there should be no evidence of overheating or failure in the electrical components. The inspection station in the top of the elevator must be working correctly and checked for evidence of rodents, fire safety, and vandalism. Finally, the pit will be checked for leaks, and the spring buffers are inspected for signs of corrosion.

These are just a few of the elevator maintenance and inspection points considerations to keep in mind. If you’d like to learn more, have a look at our elevator maintenance guide here.

Safety Code for Elevators & Escalators in Florida

customizing your home elevator

If you’re an elevator owner in Florida, you might have questions about how to renew your Certificate of Operation. The Certificate of Operations refers to a document (issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Florida), that indicates that the conveyance has undergone the required safety inspection and tests, as well as requiring that permit fees have been paid.

According to the Florida Elevator Safety Act, only licensed vertical conveyances with a current satisfactory inspection can renew the Certificate of Operation. All elevators or other conveyances equipment must also be inspected by a Florida-licensed certified elevator inspector or by a municipality or county under contract with the division according to section 399.13, Florida Statutes every year.

However, there are a few cases when an annual inspection isn’t required:

• If the elevator isn’t an escalator or a dumbwaiter
• If the elevator serves only two adjacent floors
• If the elevator is covered by a full-service maintenance contract that meets the minimum requirements in Florida law.

It’s the elevator owner’s responsibility for verifying the existence and performance of the service maintenance contract every year. If you have a home elevator, we have a different home elevator maintenance programs so you can set up a schedule for your home elevator.

Additionally, section 399.03(5), Florida Statutes, also states:

All new conveyance installations must be performed by a registered elevator company. Before any vertical conveyance is used, except those in a private residence, it must be inspected by a certified elevator inspector not employed, associated, or having a conflict of interest with the elevator construction permit holder or elevator owner and certified as meeting the safety provisions of the Florida Building Code, including the performance of all required safety tests.

Who Can Service Your Elevator?

elevator service

Are you wondering who can service your elevator in South Florida?

Rise Above Elevator is dedicated to ensuring the safety and longevity of your elevator! We’re the premier choice for elevator installation and servicing in the area. We believe in quick response times to ensure our customers get the service they deserve. We employ some of the elevator industry’s top technicians, all of which are state-certified CC/CET “Certificate Of Competency” and “Certified Elevator Technician” to ensure our customers get the best service for their elevator equipment.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for all of your elevator needs, including elevator repair, service, or installation! 

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