Monthly Archives: February 2014

Ensuring Elevator Safety


The United States has over 700,000 elevators installed. It goes without saying that for the many people who use elevators everyday, safety and functionality are of utmost importance. When you consider how many things can go wrong while riding an elevator, it’s a wonder that almost nothing does go wrong. The safety record of most every elevator is of impeccable quality. Those nightmare scenarios of elevator doors closing shut on someone’s fingers or elevator cabs plunging from cable breaks are better suited for wildly improbable movie sequences.

The design of elevators must conform to strict international or local standards. This varies from region to region. Performance based standards are fast becoming the norm in this day and age. These standards must at least be met after rigorous testing. Elevators must also meet the standards pertaining to earthquake, fire, and electrical safety. The American with Disabilities Act also specifies access requirements for the disabled.

Many major elevator companies have built elevator test buildings specifically for this purpose. In 2008, Mitsubishi constructed a $50 million tower called Solae. It is designed to test various high-speed lifts, gears, and cables. The tower is over 567 feet.

Various kinds of test can be performed on these test sites. Otis Elevator has over 20 advanced tests, including ones that test worst-case scenarios and product transport. One of its largest test towers is in the United States is the Bristol Research Center. At 383 feet, it still pales in comparison to the over 500 foot high test tower in Shibayama, Japan.

Simple test cases are also created to test whether the elevator follows its algorithm correctly. These tests typically include: whether the elevator can move up and down, stop at each floor, and move to a specific floor. More complex test involve multiple people accessing the lift. Will the elevator go to the nearest floor first? This becomes all the more important as elevators service more and more floors. Whatever the case, elevator safety is ensured the more tests are conducted.

However, it doesn’t fall upon the industry itself to ensure the safety of elevators. We all have to do our part. Because no matter how safe elevators are made to be, recklessness and not being responsible when it comes to regular servicing and maintenance can cause these machines to be unsafe. For regular elevator service in New York and New Jersey, call Pride and Service Elevator, the premiere elevator servicing company in the tri-state!