Elevator Safety FAQ’s

If you are installing an elevator in your home, you may have questions on the safety of the elevator. Today’s elevators are built with the latest safety features and are subject to industry standards that ensure your safety. When installed by a trained installer from trusted manufacturers, a home elevator will operate safely in your home for years to come.

Q. Are Home Elevators Safe?

A. Modern home elevators are safe. With local building codes, national safety codes, and safety measures, modern home elevators are designed with the highest level of safety in mind. Home elevators are equipped with features that prevent misuse and injury. The regulations cover everything from the weight limits to the speed, construction of the elevator shaft, and travel distance. Information is available to educate you on how to safety maintain home elevators.

Q. Do Home Elevators Need to Be Inspected?

A. The home elevator inspection process can vary by your location. However, even if there isn’t a requirement for an inspection, you want to still have the elevator looked at to make sure it is safe. Inspections will provide you with trouble-free operation and keep your elevator in top running condition to ensure its safety. You should have your home elevator inspected once a year. An elevator is inspected according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Safety Code. This code covers the construction, design, operation, maintenance, inspection, and repair.

Q. What Safety Features Do Home Elevators Have?

A. Minimum in-home elevator safety standards are established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Some of the latest safety features include:

  • Internal LED Emergency Lighting
  • Wood or Metal Handrails
  • Safety Accordion Gates in Compliance with ASME Code
  • Standard Emergency Bell and Light
  • Emergency Battery Lowering
  • Door and Cab Gate Safety Devices
  • Two Type-A Safety Devices
  • Overrun Switches
  • Disconnect for Slack Cable
  • Built-In Phone Options
  • Send/Call Button
  • Door space guards

Safety codes are reviewed and updated as needed. The contractor will make sure new products meet the safety standards, as well as provide advice and recommendations for additional safety features based on needs.

Q. How Can I Improve Safety for Children in Home Elevators?

A. Improve safety for children around home elevators by teaching them that it’s not a toy. It’s smart to set rules for when the elevator should and shouldn’t be used and only advise children to use the elevator under supervision by adults. It’s important to also measure the gap between the door and the elevator entrance and use door baffles if needed. Codes require no more than five-inch gaps but if you have younger children that use the elevator, it’s recommended to only have four inches.

Q. What Are Door Baffles?

A. A door baffle or door space guard is a build out added to an existing door to take up the space between the elevator gate/door and hoistway door in order to protect small children from a deadly gap that may exist between the doors. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association (AEMA) and the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) recommend a qualified elevator inspector examine your home elevator for this dangerous gap and to attach a door build out if needed. Door baffles can be installed easily and quickly and it’s a small price to pay for safety and peace of mind.

Q. What Qualifications Should I Look for in an Installer?

A. There are a lot of decisions when it comes to purchasing an elevator. However, an important aspect is selecting the right contractor for installation that has the right experience and skills, and is affiliated with professional and industry organizations that promote safety and ADA compliance standards, such as the National Association of Elevator Contractors and the Association of Members of the Accessibility. Your installer should have the latest training and be up to date with codes, standards, and technology, and have the ability to work closely with architects in design specifications and planning. Look for an installation team with years of experience that are certified and licensed in the state. Many dealers are endorsed by the manufacturer and have warranties for products. They should also be able to provide emergency repairs and routine maintenance.