Elevators are safe machines when they are properly installed. However, if you do not follow the proper building codes and best practices, not only may you get into legal trouble for these violations, but you may also place your guests at risk. There are certain rules that you must never break.
Get Your Elevator Inspected
In most states, it is required to have a valid certificate of inspection. This is performed by a trained elevator maintenance specialist. A certificate of the inspection needs to be placed in a noticeable location.
Have Your Backup System Inspected
You will need an emergency lighting and communications backup system. Sometimes, the battery backup system fails, so this needs to be inspected a certain number of times per year based on the state in which the elevator is located.
Don't Misuse the Elevator Machine Room
Do not use the elevator machine room as a storage location. It is only intended to be used for equipment that is used for the elevator.
Test Your Emergency Phones
Your emergency phones must be tested periodically. Fortunately, this can be performed easily by operating them. Also, if your emergency phone is not hands-free, you will need to have it replaced with an ADA complaint one.
Include the Required Signs
A sign must always be placed outside the elevator that states "IN FIRE EMERGENCY, DO NOT USE ELEVATOR. USE EXIT." Make sure that the sign is vandal-proof, and replace it if it ever becomes difficult to read. Include inside the elevator instructions on how to use the emergency equipment.
Test the Fire Service
The fire service function must be tested once a month. Then, the results of the test must be placed inside the elevator service room so it can be verified by building code inspectors. A fire extinguisher is usually required to be kept inside since occupants might become trapped within the elevator during a fire.
Install Adequate Lighting
Lighting is essential in emergency situations. There must be break-resistant lighting. The outlets must have circuit breakers. The lighting must be located in machine rooms, elevator pits and car tops.
Know When to Upgrade or Replace Your Elevator
Make sure that you do not keep your elevator for too long. Most elevators have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years. When your elevator is nearing the end of its lifespan, you will need to determine whether you will upgrade or replace it. Upgrading parts is usually the best approach because it does not disrupt your building's operations. However, if you have several elevators, you can replace them one at a time so there are always elevators for your visitors to use. A company like Capital Elevator Services Inc can help.