How Do You Know If Your Elevator is Safe? Regular Maintenance and Inspections Are Essential

Co-op boards are more likely to repair a leaking roof or paint the lobby than tackle an elevator that needs to be

upgraded. According to elevator expert Al Milo, president of Dunwell Elevator in Brooklyn, which does elevator maintenance, repairs, inspections and installations, this approach is like giving a patient a new hair-do when what he really needs is heart surgery. Similarly, buildings often choose to fix up the elevator cab while they put off the more urgent job of improving the brakes or electrical system.

While elevators are extremely safe machines, with plenty of back-up mechanisms to prevent accidents, residential buildings must adhere to a regular maintenance and inspection schedule mandated by law and comply with a list of requirements that range from posting no smoking signs in elevators to reporting accidents to the New York City Department of Buildings. Substantial fines are levied for violations.

Safe But Not Foolproof

The suspension last April of more than two-thirds of New York City's elevator inspectors following a corruption investigation (see box on page XX) may have created some unease about the safety of the city's elevators, but individuals knowledgeable about elevators say that, so far, there is little cause for concern. I don't think it's an issue, says Dick Koral, director of the Apartment House Institute of New York City Technical College. Elevators are actually the safest things in the world. They have a whole series of safety measures. It's almost impossible to defeat them. The worst thing you can be is stuck.


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  • AWESOME SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Can paper signs be put up in an elevator of 12 floor coop.
  • we have folks moving in and out of our building every month. inconvenient to lock of doors. A piece of furniture is usually placed in the door to hold it open while loading and doors keeps trying to close. Is this harmful and or reduce life expectancy. Does this increase cost to maintain? Thank you very much for your advice.
  • Can coops turn off two out of six elevator lights for any reason.
  • Our elevator contractor did fireman's service testing and Hydraulics maintenance monthly before. This couple years, they only did 3 times a year. I heard, by law, the elevator fireman's service testing and Hydraulics maintenance should be done every month. Is that true?
  • did you know the president of dunwell elevator al milo was a garbage pick up perrson in newyork city
  • joselito v. del mundo on Sunday, September 25, 2011 3:42 AM
    Are 12th floors having elevator speed at 105meter per minute can be included in en 81 to undergo safety gear test and car buffer test
  • Thanks for posting. Never stop a closing door as this may cause the mechanical alignment problems and frequent elevator failure.
  • I live in an apartment building in Brooklyn. Is it a violation if there are no sensors between the elevator doors, and it could close on you and not open.
  • I like how you stated that a company can get a double-layer of assurance that their elevator is okay from both an elevator consultant and a maintenance company. Business owners that have an elevator should consider getting it checked on and worked on frequently in order to assure toal safety. Elevator inspection is not a joke and should be taken serious because if ignored it could lead to many future injuries. Thank you for talking about elevators and the importance of getting them inspected.