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home elevator safety

Home Elevator Safety-Are Home Elevators Safe?

Elevators in the home are highly beneficial as well as safe. Residential elevators provide ease of access to other floors in the home, provide a safer route for carrying things from floor to floor, and adds significant value to your house.

Are Home Elevators Safe?

Yes they are. Aside from the best quality and durability of our manufacturers’ products, they’re equipped with features that prevent injury and misuse. Home elevator regulations cover everything from the construction of the elevator shaftway, weight limit, speed, and travel distance.

Safety Features of a Residential Elevator

While each state has different rules and regulations, they all require safety mechanisms and codes to meet in order to pass inspection.

Door Interlocks

Many states including Connecticut require door interlocks at each landing to prevent any door accessing the elevator from being open if the cab is not at that particular landing.

Safety Sensors

There are two main types of safety sensors for home elevators: door sensors and pit sensors.

Door Sensor

Door sensors prevent the elevator doors from closing if an object is detected. They use infrared or LED lighting to create a curtain of sorts, illuminating the entry way to the elevator cab at the landing.

Pit Sensor

Elevator pit sensors detect anything that might be in the pit and if something is detected, the elevator will not operate.

Fire Alarm

Fire alarms are required for operation. They must be installed in the shaftway.

3″ Rule

The 3″ rule as it applies to home elevators refers to the space at the footing between the elevator and the landing. The rule says that the space cannot exceed 3″. This ensures that people and small pets do not fall through and trap them.

Elevator Phone

A landline must be active and connected to the cab phone inside the elevator.

Emergency Backup

An uninterruptible power supply is required for home elevators and is located inside the machine room. In the event of a power failure (power outage or shortage), the battery backup activates and lowers the cab to the first stop so you can exit safely.

 

Applicable Elevator Codes:

The Uniform Building Code (UBC) references the IBC (International Building Code) which references ASME A17.1.

Residential elevators are addressed in Part 5.3 of the ASME A17.1 code.

  • 5.3.1 Private Residence Electric Elevators
  • 5.3.2 Private Residence Hydraulic Elevators

This 2012 edition provides updated cross-references and additional guidelines to coordinate with A17.1-2007.  It also features new guidelines on machine room-less (MRL) configurations.

Local jurisdictions need to be reviewed for additional compliance items and local regulations.

Example : California has its own set of Safety orders for elevators.

  • Division of Occupational Safety and Health – Title 8 regulations
  • Division 1. Department of Industrial Relations
  • Chapter 4. Division of Industrial Safety
  • Subchapter 6. Elevator Safety Orders
  • Group 4
  • Article 41