New York City has adopted a new retroactive elevator safety code requirement for all existing automatic passenger, service and freight elevators in residential buildings. The deadline for compliance is rapidly approaching and unless this work is already scheduled, a building may have difficulty in meeting the deadline of January 1, 2020, after which point violations will be written for non-compliance.  As reported by The Cooperator on May 9, 2019, the majority of elevator companies and elevator manufacturers are already inundated with requests to meet this update and deadline. 

Depending  on the elevator’s vintage, the equipment may require modifications to the existing operating system or an upgrade/replacement if it is an older system. This requirement is only for automatic elevators. Buildings with manual passenger or service elevators that have manually operated doors and gates do not have to meet this new code requirement. The requirement is to prevent the elevator from operating under any circumstance with the hoist way or cab doors open. This is to prevent the chance of someone being entrapped between the doors and injured if the elevator should move away from the landing floor.

All operating controllers in elevators built to meet the old law should have the door lock monitoring provisions built in, however there is a possibility it may not, as this depends on the manufacturer. If a new elevator was installed or a modernization was conducted at that point or forward (2000 or newer), the provisions for door contact monitoring should be built in. Prior to that, NYC followed the old Code so it’s safe to assume older controllers do not have provisions. 

It would probably be in the building’s best interest to modernize the system so full compliance can be met and the system will then be reliable, safe, code compliant and serve the building population for the next twenty (20) years or more. The estimated cost for each elevator varies but it certainly reach $15,000 to $25,000.