Florida Elevator Code Requirement
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Recently, the Florida building code was updated, impacting more than 80,000 elevators in the state, including over 25,000 elevators in the Miami metro area. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) code A17.3 sets standards for elevators, including provision 3.10.12, which states that an elevator car should not move while the cab doors are open.
To comply with the code, owners of existing elevators in Florida must meet the requirements of part 3.10.12 of ASME A17.3-2015, the Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators, by December 31, 2023. This code is implemented by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
Door-lock monitoring (DLM), has been included in the ASME A17.3 code since 2000. Most elevators built after 2000 already have monitor circuitry installed or can be connected to devices with door fault-monitoring capability. However, a challenge in Florida arises from the large number of elevators that have equipment installed before the mandate, making it difficult to add fault monitoring.
Elevator DLM ensures that an elevator does not operate with the doors open. The controller sends a signal to the elevator to close its doors and depart from a landing when monitoring sensors within the car door gate switch make contact with sensors in the interlock on the landing door. This constant monitoring aligns with the new Florida code provision.
With the upcoming compliance deadline, some property owners and managers are just starting to consider the impact of the 2023 code change. It is crucial to act quickly as time is running out. While the code requires compliance, it does not necessarily mean that existing equipment must be replaced entirely. Upgrading the elevator’s controller can be a more cost-effective solution. Noncompliance with the code carries significant liability, including fines, canceled insurance coverage, legal issues, and inconvenience to tenants and guests.
To comply with the new elevator DLM code requirements, owners and building managers should follow these general guidelines based on the installation or modernization dates of their elevators:
Elevators installed or modernized prior to 2000 may require new hardware to accommodate the software requirements.
Elevators installed or modernized before July 1, 2009 may need a software update and possibly a hardware update.
Controllers installed or modernized after July 1, 2009 may already be compliant, but confirmation by an elevator contractor is necessary, especially regarding the Firefighter’s Service Phase II exception, which may require a software update.
Equipment installed or modernized after August 1, 2017 should be compliant, but it is essential to confirm as some vendors shipped non-compliant equipment manufactured before the code requirement until early 2020.
It is important to note that future modernization of controllers and door equipment will be compliant, making it a viable option for achieving compliance if the modernization is completed by December 31, 2023.
However, it is crucial to have each elevator inspected by a certified elevator contractor to ensure upcoming code compliance, as installation dates alone do not guarantee proper operation.
The ASME A17.3 code compliance was first mandated in New York City on January 1, 2020, following tragic incidents where elevators operated while the doors remained open, resulting in fatalities. Selecting a knowledgeable service provider like FIJI Elevator, experienced in DLM, is essential for a timely and cost-effective resolution.
In addition to the DLM mandate, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations recently issued a statement regarding the correct programming of elevators’ Phase II In-Car Emergency Operation. Elevators installed in Florida may need to be tested to ensure compliance with the requirements for Firefighter’s Operation.
Property owners in Florida should also consider the potential impact of other elevator code updates in the future, such as protection against unintentional car movement and ascending car over-speed motion.
Time is of the essence. Property owners and managers should act quickly and consult with FIJI Elevator to address the compliance requirements. Technical solutions are available, and the costs are not prohibitive. However, obtaining permits alone can take up to six weeks, so waiting longer increases the risk of failing to meet the compliance deadline, leading to fines and potential liabilities. Schedule an elevator inspection today to ensure compliance.
Florida Elevator Code References:
Ready to ensure elevator code compliance? Contact FIJI Elevator today and let our experts guide you through the process.
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