Was your building’s elevator installed before 2009? If so, it will probably require the installation of a door monitoring lock in order to be in compliance with a new regulation passed by the City.
New York City adopted the new rule to provide door lock monitoring to all residential buildings with automatic elevators following a series of elevator door-related deaths and injuries. This work must be completed by January 1, 2020 -- which is right around the corner -- and it’s forcing local elevator companies to work around the clock to meet that deadline.
The regulation is in compliance with recommendations made by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) back in 2002. During the period when the policy was under consideration and being adopted, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) reviewed the proposal and had concerns about how it might affect firefighting. As a result, the plan was revised to include a fire service bypass to allay the Department's concerns.
Aside from considering when your elevator was installed (newer elevators installed around or after 2009 most likely feature a circuit that stops the elevator when the door contacts are open, said ElevatorLab), controllers put into place before 1996 or with microprocessors more than 18 years old will almost certainly require an upgrade. Like any change to any NYC elevator, a permit is required for this work. Additionally, the work will need to be signed off by an engineer, architect or the controller manufacturer. These requirements are in effect to protect residents and ensure proper installation of the monitoring systems.
How Are Elevator Companies Responding?
According to Joseph Corrado, Executive Vice President of Champion Elevator Corp. in New York City, the new regulation is “creating something of a backlog” for elevator firms. Not that he’s complaining. Elevator companies, he explains, tend to have several departments that handle specific types of work. Typically, these departments include maintenance, repair, modernization, violations, and construction. Corrado’s firm has created a new department for door lock monitoring. “Prior to the enactment of this regulation we rarely had requests for [monitoring technology]. People do that work which is mandated.”