Time to Modernize

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What goes up must come down. Unfortunately, in the case of elevators, there is no law of physics saying they must do so reliably, efficiently, or quickly. We have written a blog about elevator modernization in the past. This is an important topic for building owners and managers to know about, because outdated elevators can cost you time and money.

After decades of continuous operation, the controls and drive systems of any elevator can become less reliable, despite quality maintenance.  Breakdowns become more frequent and more difficult to repair as components become obsolete and replacement becomes more difficult.  Though possibly state-of-the-art when new, the control logic (the brains of your elevator dispatching) is now grossly inefficient.  The car finishes your building clientele see every day become dated.  It’s time to modernize.

Whether you want to modify the aesthetics of a cab or need an entire new elevator installation, our mechanics here at Pride and Service will design a cost-effective solution. Most of the time, clients who currently have an elevator do not require a complete new installation. We can work with your existing equipment and upgrade your elevator so that it performs better, uses less energy, and is more comfortable and attractive – adding more value to your building.

Even if you are not a current customer of ours, we would be happy to perform an in-depth analysis of your elevators. Often we find that problems you may be having with your elevator systems is a result of inadequate maintenance,  which can be fixed with some upfront repairs followed by a better service program provided by our excellent technicians here at Pride and Service.

Modernizing an elevator system improves its performance and efficiency. It fact, modernizing outdated elevators is the largest single impact we as an industry can have on reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. We also work hard to utilize as much as your existing equipment as possible to reduce waste and save you money.

An elevator modernization project can include upgrades to:

  • Cabs
  • Controls
  • Mechanics
  • Jacks and cylinders
  • Door systems
  • And more

We also can also modernize your elevator in order to comply with New York/New Jersey State codes and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. If you are thinking about modernizing your elevators or not sure if it’s time – give us a call. We can come out and evaluate your current elevators and give our recommendations on what needs to be updated. Remember, or goal is to help you save time and money.

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Preparing for the Storm

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The anniversary of Hurricane Sandy reminds us just how fragile life really is. We remember the people who we lost to the storm, and the people who selflessly did everything they could to help our neighbors get back on their feet. Sandy’s vast destruction brought to light what a powerful force Mother Nature can be. For building owners and managers, it’s a reminder about the importance of careful preparation before a storm, and the challenges that may confront them after the storm has passed.

There are steps you can take before, during, and after a storm to make sure your elevators are prepared for the impact of harsh weather.

Things you can do right now:

Even before the weather forecasts predict a storm, take the time to make initial preparations. Inspect your elevator machine room’s ventilation openings, windows, and doors for possible rain leakage. Install metal splash guards over ventilation openings to help prevent water from reaching electrical panels. You can install some weather stripping around the machine room doors that open to the outdoors.

Immediately before a storm

Close up all vents and openings at the top of the hoistway to prevent water from getting into the elevator shaft. Barricade the machine room windows as necessary. Make sure no one is left in the building who would need the elevator for access. If your elevators are enclosed within your building (hoistways not exposed to the atmosphere), run each car to a stop near the center of travel. For two-stop elevators, park the car at the top floor. If your elevators are exposed to the atmosphere, run your elevators to the floor below the top floor. In each case, after you have parked the cars, shut them down and park them with the doors closed.

Elevators that open to the atmosphere should have sandbags placed all along bottom of hoistway doorsSince this procedure would make the elevator unusable, it is recommended that this procedure be the last preparatory act, just prior to shutting the elevator off.  This procedure is necessary where the elevator entrances are open to the atmosphere such as in parking garages, and housing facilities, pedestrian bridges, and elevators with open breezeways.

Go to the elevator machine room and turn the elevator electric disconnect switches to the “off” position. There is one switch for each elevator – it’s usually located adjacent to the machine room door.

Disconnecting the power serves three purposes:

  • It prevents an unauthorized person from otherwise taking the elevator away from your intended parking area.
  • It prevents severe damage to equipment caused by short circuits from wet circuitry. Usually once the equipment is dried out it can be quickly cleared and re-started by your elevator service company; with little or no damage.
  • The equipment will be saved from damage caused by voltage surges, spikes and dips resulting from lightning strikes and power line shorts due to wind.

During a storm

Even if your building has an emergency power generator, NEVER use the elevators during a severe storm. Rising water or wind-driven water can cause an electrical circuit shortage that could disable the elevator, even if emergency power is available, and lead to trapped passengers.

When the storm has passed

When you get an official “all clear” – but before you restore power to your elevators – inspect the machine room for water on the floor or in the control panels. Also check the pit area for water damage. If you don’t have a “walk-in” pit, your service company can help you gain access. If you find water in these areas, call your elevator service company for an inspection before you try to operate equipment.

Be sure to open any vents or openings at the top of the shaft if you sealed them just before the storm.

Other considerations: 

You must take into account the effect that unavailability of elevators, both before the storm and after, will have on people who cannot climb stairs. Building occupants should be notified in advance regarding the policy to shut down the elevators prior to the storm and, if feasible, should be notified again when the actual time that the elevator will be shut down has been established. The ADA requires reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities.

Why Hire a Licensed Elevator Company?

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In today’s blog post, we want to talk about the importance of hiring a licensed elevator company to maintain and repair your building’s elevators. Part of the New York DOB Elevator Article #304 says “The owner of all new and existing passenger elevators shall have a contract with an approved agency to perform elevator repair work and maintenance as defined by ASME 17.1”

To become an “approved agency,” an elevator company must be registered with the state. In order to be registered with the state, the company must be a licensed and insured agency. Here at Pride and Service, we are a licensed, insured, and city-approved agency. A building owner could receive fines up to $5,000 if it is found that they are using an elevator agency that is not approved by the state.

The purpose of having these types of regulations is mostly for safety and security reasons. Many elevator companies claim to be legitimate agencies with a license and good insurance, but the reality is they are operating out of their basements or from a home office. This can be very dangerous because if they do not have the proper license, they probably do not have the proper training and experience with elevators.

Elevators are very intricate and complex machines. There are many different components of an elevator that all work together to make an elevator function properly. Serious problems can result if an elevator component were altered or repaired incorrectly by a mechanic that was not properly trained. If an accident was to occur because of work done by a mechanic from an un-licensed agency – the building owner would be responsible. Many times, these un-licensed agencies do not have proper insurance either. So when an accident does occur, the building owner is stuck with the financial burden because the agency they hired did not have the right kind of insurance. In the end, the little money you save by hiring a smaller agency can result in fines and possibly lawsuits if accidents were to occur.

The best thing a building owner can do is to take their time to research an agency before hiring them. Are they approved by the state? Do they have a good reputation? Do they have proper insurance? Will the agency handle all aspects of the buildings elevators? You can rest assured that with Pride and Service Elevator, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES.

So as a building owner who is looking to hire an elevator agency to maintain and repair your elevators – make sure to take your time. Be cautious of the people and businesses looking to do “side-work” as that is a sign of someone who is not properly insured. Here are Pride and Service; we are a licensed, city-approved agency with a talented team of well-trained elevator mechanics. We only hire the best, because we truly care about the quality of the work that we do. We are fully insured and will take care of everything having to do with your building’s elevators. If you are considering a hiring a new company, please contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

The 5 Most Common Elevator Inspection Violations

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It’s common for violations to occur during routine elevator inspections – but it doesn’t have to be that way. By knowing what the most common violations are during elevator inspections, you can address the issues and avoid having to pay fines. Here is our top 5 list of the most common elevator inspection violations:

1. Emergency Car Lighting and Communication: It is very common for the battery back-up-system (which is used for elevator cab lighting and the emergency bell) to go bad. Pride & Service mechanics are required to check the battery backup system twice per year and notify the customer if the system is not working.

2. Emergency Phones: Emergency phones are required to function. You can do a simple test by pushing the call button (or picking up the receiver) to verify that there is someone on the other end capable of taking appropriate action in case of an emergency. All new elevators require a phone and it must be of the “hands free” ADA type.  It is very common for building owners or property managers to mistakenly cancel service on the elevator phone line as the years go on because they are not aware what the phone line is for.  We recommend that this number be well documented in your office.

3. Monthly Fire Service Maintenance Log:  A monthly test of the fire service function is required where an elevator is provided with fire service. A log of the the test results is required to be in the elevator machine room. The monthly test can be performed by a properly trained individual in the building. Fire service is very important in emergency situations because lives of first responders and occupants are at stake. Testing by qualified persons should be a priority and logs should be completely filled out monthly.

4. Door Restrictions: Elevators installed or substantially modernized under the 1984 or later elevator code are required to have restrictions installed on the car doors to prevent opening when the elevator is not at a landing. This equipment is required to be installed by a qualified elevator mechanic. These devices can be difficult to maintain, however they can save lives and should never be disabled.

5. Machine Room Fire Extinguisher:  The machine room is required to have an ABC type fire extinguisher located in the machine and the tag must be current.

Make sure to give Pride and Service Elevator a call if you have any questions about your regular elevator inspections and how to avoid fines.

ECB Violations: What You Need to Know

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Here at Pride and Service, we take the concerns of our customers very seriously. Anytime our customers have questions regarding their elevators, we like to provide an answer and a solution. Recently, we have been getting a lot of phone calls from customers asking about ECB violations: why they are receiving them and how can they solve the problem.

ECB stands for Environmental Control Board Violation. This violation is issued by the Department of Buildings when a property does not comply with a part of the New York City Construction codes and or Zoning Resolution.

There are three classes of Department of Buildings ECB Violations: Class 1 (immediately hazardous), Class 2 (major) and class 3 (lesser).  If you receive a Class 1 violation, you must immediately correct the violating condition and certify correction. Failure to certify correction will result in the issuance of a DOB violation with a $1,500 civil penalty.

Please click here for more information about ECB hearings and penalties.

Please click here for more information about ECB in general.

Elevator Safety Tips: Part 2

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Elevators safely transport millions of people every day. While accidents don’t happen very often – they can happen, and they most definitely can be avoided. Here are Pride and Service, one of our main goals is to educate our customers about elevator safety and how to prevent unnecessary accidents.

We make every effort to ensure your safety while riding in elevators maintained by us. Here is some information to help keep you even safer while riding in elevators:

  • Before getting on the elevator, know your destination and push the  down or up button once and make sure to stand aside for exiting  passengers.
  • Use care when entering and exiting always look down to make sure the elevator is level with the landing floor to avoid tripping. Be aware of the closing elevator doors.
  • Do not force any objects and materials into the elevator car. Do not continuously hold or block the elevator doors from closing.
  • NEVER try to exit a “stuck” elevator unless you are instructed by an  elevator mechanic. Remain calm and use the in-car emergency devices (telephone or  alarm bell).
  • Never use an elevator if the is a building fire. Use the stairs.

Misconceptions about elevator cables

Elevator cable ropes are made from several lengths of steel material wound  around one another. One cable can support the  weight of the elevator car on its own. Elevators are  typically built with four to eight ropes.   In the unlikely event that one of the ropes snaps, the rest will hold the elevator up. Even if all of the ropes were to break, it is unlikely that an elevator car would fall to the bottom of the shaft.  Roped elevator cars have built-in braking systems, or safeties, that grab  onto the rail when the car moves too fast.

Elevators have several different safety features to prevent the car from falling to the bottom of the shaft. Safety features installed on the car can prevent this type  of accident from occurring when the machine brake fails or the cables suspending the car break.

Here are some safety guidelines for building owners and managers:

If one of your elevators shuts down, there are steps you can take to reduce the time it’s out of order and possibly avoid paying for the cost of a service call. Authorized personnel such as management, maintenance workers, or security should have access to an emergency elevator door key and the keys used to access the elevator machine room. Before placing a service call, try following these steps.

  • Check to see if there is a passenger trapped in the elevator.
  •  Make sure you have full power in the building. Check for tripped circuit breakers and blown fuses in  the meter room.
  • Check the door sills for any debris that may prevent the door from closing or fully opening. Be sure that the door protection devices such as mechanical safety edge, electric photo eyes, or an  infrared light curtain are not obstructed.
  • Check to see if the run/stop switch, located in the car station, is in the normal “run” position.
  • Verify that all other operating key switches such as independent service, inspection or access are in  the “off” position.
  • If the elevator is equipped with fire service, check that the fireman’s warning light, shaped like a  fireman’s hat, is not illuminated or blinking
  • For Hydraulic elevator: if the elevator has not been in use or the temperature has dropped, run the  car to the top floor several times. This will allow the oil to heat up and will ensure better performance.

Here are some additional maintenance tips that will be helpful for keeping your elevators safe: 

  • Ride the elevator periodically and pay attention to its operation. Ride the elevator to each floor and  check to see if it stops level with the floor. A slight difference could cause someone to trip and fall.
  • Vacuum the door track grooves to help prevent debris from jamming the doors.
  • When cleaning in the vicinity of the elevators, when using water, use CAUTION not to allow water to come in contact with any elevator equipment.  Damage from water to the equipment  can occur immediately or later, which will result in unnecessary costs to the building.
  • Do not use the elevator machine room for storage.  Keep the elevator machine room closed and locked and allow only authorized personnel to enter.
  • Fire extinguishers should be annually  inspected and tagged.
  • Make sure the elevator machine room is kept at the correct temperature.
  • Gently push buttons, do not hit, pound or kick elevator call buttons, this will damage the internal  components and can cause the elevator to shut down.
  • Do not push or pull the elevator doors open or closed, doing so can damage the equipment. If the elevator seems to be operating in an unsafe manner be sure that nobody uses the elevator and report it to Pride and Service immediately.

As always, we are here to answer any questions that you have. Contact us today for more information.

Importance of Elevator Techs & Regular Maintenance

High Rise BLOG

Providing elevator service is not a simple task. When we hire our elevator service technicians, we require them to have a great deal of skill, knowledge, and experience. Many people view an elevator technician as an easy blue collar job, but that is far from the truth. Elevator service professionals need a very thorough knowledge of electronics, electricity, and hydraulics – even programming and technical computer knowledge can be a requirement.

Elevator service professionals are very important in our modern society. Can you imagine what would happen if all of New York City’s elevators suddenly came to a halt? Elevators in general play a crucial role in keeping our buildings functioning. High-rise buildings take up less space on the ground, leaving room for other buildings – which is why you so many in New York. Elevators allow people to travel through these tall buildings, and it would be detrimental to the operation of the building if the elevators suddenly stopped working.

It’s extremely important for cities to have elevator professionals who are ready to take care of elevators if they should stop working. Elevators are machines that are prone to accidents, mostly due to the fact that they constantly move and are high maintenance. While it is not possible to guarantee an accident free environment, certain measures can be taken to ensure that the risk is minimized. Elevator preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to keep a building’s elevators functioning properly.

Preventative maintenance is something we specialize in here at Pride and Service, and our elevator technicians are some of the best. Preventative maintenance is basically regular maintenance of your elevators, to ensure that any risk of accidents is reduced. Such maintenance is usually done on a regular basis – regardless if the elevator is having problems problems or not. To maximize the benefits of these services, they should be performed along with inspections. This will ensure that the maintenance done is up to standard. A third party is required for these inspections, so that the view is unbiased and objective.

Contact us today if you would like to learn more about our elevator technicians here at Pride and Service, or if you’d like information about our maintenance services.

10 Reasons to Choose Pride and Service Elevator

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1. Pride and Service, established in 1982, is a privately owned company. With us, you don’t have to worry about the non-sense that comes with big elevator organizations. We are a privately owned and family ran company that truly cares about our customers and we are dedicated to providing the best, most personalized service possible.

2. We have headquarters in Manhattan and Cranford, NJ. Having two different locations makes us easily accessible to our clients. We serve clients throughout the Tri-State area, and having these two locations makes this possible. Between these two locations, we maintain a readily available inventory 24 hours, 7 days a week.

3. Our owners combined have over 90 years experience in the elevator industry. Our experience is what makes us so knowledgeable. We know that customers trust a company that is knowledgeable about the industry and we use what we have learned to train our service techs.

4. Our owners have been involved with the Word Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, and many other high-rise projects in Manhattan. No matter how many high-profile projects we work on, we still value the small projects as well. We will work with any building, of any size, with any amount of elevators and give our absolute best service possible.

5. We are a GREEN company and can provide many sustainable solutions. For example, we provide environmentally friendly elevator cleaning services. Many other elevator companies do not provide these extra services, but we do.

6. We are dedicated to passenger and employee safety. While servicing or working on any projects that involve your elevators – we always have safety in mind. We are dedicated to making sure your elevators are as safe as possible, avoiding unnecessary and dangerous accidents.

7. We provide coverage for all types of elevator equipment. We have some of the best insurance in the industry. When you become one of our clients, your can rest assured that we assume all liability for your elevator equipment.

8. Commitment for customer satisfaction. We are 100% committed to making sure our customers are absolutely satisfied.

9. We focus on reducing service calls. We want to save you money wherever possible, so we focus on reducing the amount of time you need to call us out for service. When you call us out for service, it means that something is wrong and we do our best to limit those issues.

10. Skilled and dedicated technicians and management staff. From our office personnel, to our service technicians – we only hire the best. We train our employees to focus on customer service and we make sure they have all the necessary skills and beyond!

 

Pride and Service Exclusive: iElevate

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Pride and Service is known and trusted for many different things. Most of all, we are known for our honesty, integrity, and great value. We always complete projects and appointments on schedule and the final product will always exceed expectations. Customer service is something that we value, and we strive to provide the best service possible to our clients.

With this in mind, we wanted to create a system within Pride and Service that really stands out from other companies. We wanted this system to be able to track important information for our customers, and help us provide better service. This is how our system called iElevate was born.

iElevate is a tracking system used to assist our customers with department of building compliance.  If you own or manage a building with elevators, then you are all too familiar with the D.O.B compliance and how stressful it can be at times to make sure you are always within code. Our iElevate system let’s us know when your elevators need to be tested and it tracks violations automatically. This is a way to help our customers avoid unexpected fines.

When violations go unnoticed, fines are issued and can start to accumulate – costing people thousands of dollars. Our iElevate system is something we created to ensure that our customers are avoiding these fines whenever possible, to make their lives easier and give them one less thing to worry about. This system is something that truly makes us stand out from other elevator companies. iElevate also helps us keep track of when inspections and routine service is due for our customers, allowing us to provide the best service possible.

For more information about our innovative system, please contact us today. We would be happy to answer all of your questions.