Creation of a nine member mayoral appointedElevator Safety Review Board which meetseach month. The board has the authority togrant exceptions from the local law, holdhearings and review complaints andrecommend changes to the local ordinance.
In 1994 the City ofBuffalo adopted5 Retro -Activerequirements; to outfit all existingElevators withmodern safetyfeatures.
1. Two - way communicationsInstalled in every Elevator compartment, monitored on a[freight & passenger 24 hour basis.Elevators] Equipment shall be tested annually in accordance with Chapter 167-21
5.(a) Top of car electric light5.(b) Top of car GFCIelectrical receptacle
Prior to 1989 Buffalo had not required any Elevator inspections ortests……...No inventory of how many Elevators existed.No accidents statistics were kept.Many Elevators had not been inspected ortested in over 25 years!
How many unsafe Elevators were found?During the first 12 months, 125 Elevators werevoluntarily ‘removed from service’ rather thanthe owner consent to their first safetyinspection.
During the next five years, another 245Elevators were tagged ‘out of service’ byinspectors as unsafe to ride or operate.These elevators were not returned to serviceuntil all repairs were made.
Between 1990-1996, 65% of the existingelevators in Buffalo failed safety inspectionsfor one or more of the following reasons…… Faulty safety devices, frayed cables and anover all lack of upkeep maintenance andrepairs.
There are 50-60 new or modernized elevatorinstallations per year in Buffalo
With well over $125,000 generated annually fromissuing elevator permits, licenses and certificatesof operation.
And yet, nearly 100% of the new andmodernized installations fail inspectionsdue to violations of the Codes New YorkState and its referenced standards.
The typical violations discovered…………..A) Hoisways built without smoke venting B) Smoke detectors located in the Elevator lobbies did not activate fire recall.C) Smoke detectors weremissing from locationsrequired by code; examplesHoistway, machine room
Elevator compartmentswere without two-waycommunications[telephones, intercoms] incase the Elevator stallsbetween floors.
None or improper drainage of the Elevator pit.None or improperventilation of theElevator machine room.
The City ofBuffaloElevatorOrdinancerequiresmandatory:
Registration of allnew and existingElevators;Property owners arerequired to supplysuch information asbuilding use, Elevatortype, rated load,speed, manufacture,previous alterationsand purpose forwhich Elevator isused.Registration includesall commercial andprivate residenceproperties.
Inspectionof all newand existingElevators;Allinspectionsare to becompletedby a QEIcertifiedElevatorinspectoremployedby acompanylicensed bythe City ofBuffalo.
Licensing ofInspectors andInstallers;No person, firmor companyshall inspect,erect, construct,alter, install,service, repair,replace ormaintainElevators in theCity of Buffalounless anInspector orInstaller licensehas beenissued………
No one company shall hold both aninstaller and/or inspector license at thesame time.
Compliance with the Codes ofNew York State ….It shall be the responsibility ofall involved to insure that theinstallation and/or service andrepair of elevators ispreformed in compliance withthe provisions of the Codes ofNew York State, and beprepared to certify suchcompliance. Whenever aprovision of Chapter 167 isfound to be inconsistent withany provision of applicableState Law, code or regulation.The State Law shallprevail…….
Issuance ofcertificate(s) ofoperation……..Prior to anyconveyance beingused a certificate ofoperation shall beobtained by theproperty ownerfrom the City ofBuffalo.Certificate(s) ofoperation arerenewable annually.They shall be postedconspicuously insidethe elevatorcompartment.
Here’s how its all supposed to work!Property owners choose a licensed third-party inspection companyto complete the required elevator inspection.Third-party inspectors inspect the elevator and issue an inspectionreport to the property owner and at the same time file a copy[within 5 business days] with the City of Buffalo elevator codeenforcement office.Owners are given a maximum of 30 days to make arrangements tocorrect any and all outstanding code violations.Of course same day action for serious hazards.Licensed elevator maintenance companies correct the outstandingviolations.Owners are than issued certificate(s) of operation for compliantelevators.
There is adecrease inthe numberof elevatoraccidents inBuffalo since1989; reasonis a highcompliancerate.Howevereven with alocalordnanceaccidentsstill dooccur……….
1 Case: Elevator ascends “out of control”and into the overhead machinery space.Result passenger sustains multiple injuriesincluding 150 stitches to the scalp and acardiac arrest.
1 Case: Elevator malfunctions whilemechanic was working on top of the car.It is believed a faulty stop switch causedthe car to respond at full speed to its nextcall. Resulting in the mechanic beingcrushed to death between the car door andthe hoistway wall.
And these are the serious accidentsresulting in multiple injuries and 4deaths.A near miss accident….1 case: Brand new handicapped liftcollapses and nearly decapitates awoman leaning inside the hoistway.Cause: Faulty installation of the safetydevice by the installing contractor.Action taken: The City of Buffaloenters the previously unregulatedresidential and commercial liftindustry.Problem: Handicapped lifts werebeing sold by drug store and medicalsupply outlets with installation by unqualified contractors.
The final phase of CodeEnforcement beginswith,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,a 30 day final notice,mailed to the propertyowner requiring a promptreply to code violations.Followed up by a courtesyphone call, advising theowner of pending courtaction.At this point the owner canselect from three choices;1) Repair the Elevator andreturn it to service.2) Remove the Elevatorfrom service or,,,,,,,,,,,,
3) If violations are not corrected within the 30 day time frame theowner will be issued a court summons and ordered to appear inCity of Buffalo housing court, and face a maximum of either 15days in jail per count, a $1,500.00 fine per count or both.
Prompt actionmust be takento correct codeviolations,Why?To insurepublic safetyTo reduceaccidentsTo minimizelegal liabilityagainst theCity of Buffaloand CodeEnforcementOfficers.
If you have any further questions regarding Elevators, Escalators etc. Please Call………. 323E-Mail: email@example.com