7 Simple Tips to Pass Your Next Elevator Inspection

7 simple tips to pass your elevator inspection

This quick elevator pre-inspection checklist will help you pass your next elevator inspection.  Understand the items you can fix before you fail. 

Failing an elevator inspection is painful and costly.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could help prevent failure on your next inspection?  

Well, you can.  

We’ve reviewed data from thousands of inspections, over multiple states, and on many different equipment types to find the most common reasons for annual elevator inspection failure.  

This list will focus on the most common items that are within the responsibility of building ownership and management, and not the elevator maintenance provider.  Although having a good elevator maintenance contract will help you pass, these items are not the responsibility of your elevator company.  

Let’s review the items that you (building ownership and maintenance staff) can fix before the next inspection.  

1. Locate your elevator safety test forms:

Completely separate from and often confused with an elevator inspection,  is an elevator safety test.  An elevator safety test needs to be up-to-date.  Your elevator maintenance provider would perform a Category 1,2, 3 or 5 safety test and fill out the appropriate documentation. Each local code has different safety testing requirements.  As a building owner, it’s your job to make sure the test documents are current and available for your inspector to review. 

2. Double check your elevator machine room lights

Although very simple, we see many inspections fail for burnt out light bulbs in machine rooms.  Light is required in all elevator machine rooms and machine spaces. The illumination needs to be at least 19 foot candles per ASME A17.1 – 2.7.9.  Make sure you check the machine room for working light bulbs before the inspector arrives. 

elevator inspection

3. Check if your fire extinguisher tags are current 

All elevator machine rooms require a fire extinguisher which is properly tested and maintained per ASME A17.1 –  8.6.1.6.5.  Make sure you’re familiar with the fire extinguisher test requirements and make sure the tags are up to date.   It’s recommended that you mount the extinguisher near the jamb side of the machine room entrance door and not in the way of workers who need to exit quickly.  

4. Check if your elevator machine room door is self-closing and locking

The elevator machine room door needs to be self-closing and self-locking. The door should have  a key when you try and open from the outside, but should never require a key when you try and open from the inside per ASME A17.1 – 2.7.3.4.1. Fixing the door is a simple change by a building engineer or carpenter. 

elevator phone

5. Check if elevator emergency phones are working

Two-way 24-hour voice communication from the elevator to a location that can dispatch emergency help is required at all times per ASME A17.1 – 2.27.1.1.3.   Make sure you test the phones before your inspector arrives. If the phones are not working, you should check if the failure is with the phone or with the phone line.  

6. Keep your monthly fire service test log up to date 

Your elevator is designed with a particular mode for firefighters to take control of the elevator in an emergency situation. The mode is called Phase 1 and Phase 2 firefighters service and it needs to be tested and logged monthly per ASME A17.1 – 2.27.3.  Most elevator maintenance contracts do not include the monthly test.   As an owner, you can test and record the results yourself.  Make sure your log is updated. 

​7. Locate your elevator maintenance control program

Although a newer code, and not adopted in all locations yet, you should make sure the Maintenance Control Programs are available to elevator inspectors and personnel.  If not law in your local jurisdiction yet, it’s still good practice to locate the program your maintenance provider is following.Following these simple steps will increase your chances of passing your next elevator inspection.   Have you failed your elevator inspection?  Comment below and let us know why.  

ElevatorLab handles elevator consulting and inspection services nationwide.  


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