As a building owner or manager, you know that as the demand on a building rises, an increasing demand is placed on its vertical transportation. The elevator system is critical to any building operation, whether residential, commercial, hospital, public or private building. What are your responsibilities? There are a number of different things that you as the building owner or property manager need to know if your building is equipped with elevators.
The first item on a building owner’s elevator to-do list should be assuring good service. Owners know that when they have elevators that work well, tenants are retained. But to achieve optimal level of performance, the elevators need to be properly maintained.
What type of service should you have?
Higher elevator speeds, greater system usage, and the taller buildings so common in our modern cities all increase the need for preventative maintenance. We recommend a Full Maintenance Contract (FMC). This type of contract is written to allow an elevator service company to take total responsibility for the elevator equipment identified in the agreement. This contract acts like an insurance policy and allows the manager to eliminate concerns relating to elevator liability and exposure to claims in the event of accidents or injuries. Liability is limited because the maintenance contractor assumes all responsibility and determines the amount of service visits required to keep the elevator system operating safely.
The more risk you are willing to assume, the lower the cost of services will be. Pride and Service also offers other types of service agreements besides the FMC. Contact us to learn what these other types of contacts include.
What are your responsibilities?
Here is a quick list of some things that building owners and property managers are responsible for when it comes to their building’s elevators:
- Keeping the door tracks clean on the threshold from the hall entrance into the elevator is the responsibility of the owner/building management. A small stone can become jammed under either the hall or car door and prevent movement, causing a trouble call.
- Check to make sure the entrance, in most cases from the hall, over the threshold onto the elevator floor is equally flat and level. If flooring is changed from the original installation and tile is added, make sure there is no tripping hazard. Be aware also that adding any extra weight like mirrors, tile flooring and paneling to the side walls can make a substantial difference in the balance or operation of the elevator system.
- If any upgrade work is performed on the inside of the elevator cab, all materials must be fire-rated. In most jurisdictions, such upgrades must be performed by registered contractors. The best practice is to work closely at all times with the service provider/contractor to ensure that all code requirements are fully met. Pride and Service offers interior cab renovation services, click here to learn more.
- One common mistake is to upgrade the ceiling of an elevator cab without regard to safety requirements. A beautiful ceiling may be installed with numerous pot lights. The trouble is, no one thought of the escape hatch in the ceiling of the elevator cab. This escape hatch is provided to remove trapped passengers in an emergency. Make sure the beautiful ceiling has a removable panel directly under the location of the escape hatch.
- Have the building management frequently check not only to see if the communication/telephone device and the alarm bell are working but also to make sure the elevator is operating normally. Check that the position indications are functioning and that the push button lights where applicable are working and that none of the push buttons are broken and cracked.
- Your elevator’s communication line should identify which elevator is having trouble. This can be a critical requirement in the event of an emergency. It is amazing how many people forget what building they are in!
Our goal is to be a source of information. If you have any questions about something you have read in this blog, or questions about your elevators in general, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We are happy to speak with you and answer any questions that you may have. Click here for all of our contact information.