Posts

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
commercial elevator

LULA Elevators: What are they?

Although gaining popularity, the limited use, limited application (LU/LA) elevator is still unknown to many who might benefit from having one in their home or building. LULAs are ADA compliant and cost significantly less than a full commercial elevator.

 

Acceptable Uses for a LULA Elevator

There are several applications that can contain a LU/LA Elevator. The limited use part refers to building occupancy and rate load. Unlike a fully rated commercial capacity elevator, the LU/LA elevator’s rate load is 1400 lbs. The application part refers to the amount of rise the elevator is allowed to travel.

 

Can LULA Elevators be used in homes?

Yes they can! LULA elevators can be customized in different sizes, making them small enough to fit inside of a home.

 

Planning for a LULA Elevator

If you’re thinking about putting a LULA elevator in your project, here is a list of things you’ll need to know:

-13″ pit depth*

-106″ overhead*

-maximum rise 25 ft

-maintenance significantly lower than that of a commercial elevator

 

To get more information about LULA Elevators, please contact us today by phone at 203-757-5000 or email.

 

 

*differs by manufacturer

Residential Elevators in CT/RI Flood Zones

Elevators in Flood Zones

According the NAHB market survey, 67% of homeowners say they would like to have a home elevator, or view it as a necessity. Some areas in the country, including Connecticut’s shoreline, are located inside flood zones. For homeowners living within the flood zones that would like an elevator have many options.

FEMA regulations for home elevators

If you are a homeowner in a flood zone and would like to have a conventional residential elevator, you’re in luck. FEMA allows residential elevators in flood plains.

International Building Code requirements for home elevators

The codes & standards that apply to wheelchair lifts are:

ADA regulations
ADAAG regulations
ICC/ANSI A117.1 – Accessible & Usable Building & Facility
ASME A17.1 – Elevator and Escalator safety code for safety lock
ASME A18.1 – Safety standards for platform lifts and stairway chairs lifts
NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code

(Verify what year and version of the code your state or local jurisdiction has adopted)

UL or ETL are required and acceptable standards for testing certifications

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

Elevator Options for flood zones

Inline Geared Drive Elevator System

Also known as the “machine room-less” (MRL) elevator, the inline geared drive system is set up in a way that the power supply is mounted to the top of the rail brackets. Having this system eliminates the need for a machine room*

Hydraulic Elevator

A hydraulic elevator system is acceptable in a flood zone so long as the machine room is located on the 2nd floor of the dwelling.

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators (PVE) are ideal for flood zones. The PVE does not require a pit, nor does it have a machine room. The Elevator is powered entirely by air, using suction and gravity to operate.

*Inline geared drive elevator system also available in Machine Room option

Steven Roth

Steven Roth of ESCO Associate of the Year Award Recipient

Steven Roth of ESCO Associate of the Year Award Recipient

May 15, 2017, Fairfield County, CT—Elevator Service Company, Inc. President and CEO, Steven Roth, has been awarded the Associate of the Year Award presented by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County.

“This prestigious award is a testament to Steven Roth’s commitment to our association’s standard of excellence,” states Gina Calabro, Chief Executive Officer of the HBRA of Fairfield County.  “His involvement has had a significant impact on our organization as we continue to commit to the highest standards in building our communities.”

Roth has also been recognized in other organizations, a new member of the State Board for the HBRA, and the company has been the recipient for various other awards in the elevator and building industry.

The President also announced the incorporation of his new company, Design Build Services, Inc. The new company will provide turn-key solutions for home modifications, to the necessary construction for an elevator.

The Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County will host the annual Meeting & Awards on June 9, 2017, where Roth will be presented with Associate of the Year.

Elevator Service Company, Inc. is an AIA continuing education provider.

senior falls statistics

Elevators Can Help Prevent Falls for Seniors

Senior Falls and Costs

When it comes to getting older, one thing that every senior will be at risk of is suffering from a fall. In the milder cases, falls can result in bruises, scuffs, and a new-found fear of the stairs. In more severe cases, broken bones, concussion (TBI), and even death. Every year 25% of all people over the age of 65 will have a fall. Every 19 seconds, a death occurs from a fall (National Council on Aging). According to the Center for Disease Control, the average cost for a fall injury is $30,000 and in 2015, costs to Medicare, alone, totaled over $31 billion.

If you or your loved one has a fall and is severely injured, the cost of living could go up significantly. In Connecticut, the cost of assisted living ranges from $4,950-$11,000/month, or $439/day on average.

Adding a conventional residential elevator or a pneumatic vacuum elevator to your home is less than half of the cost of 6 months of assisted living.

When to Install an Elevator

A home elevator has numerous benefits regardless of age or disposition. A home elevator increases home value, provides a safer route to stairs for reaching multiple stories in the home, and provides a sense of luxury. Millennials  are starting to plan for their futures sooner than previous generations. Aging in place/thriving in place is preferred to nursing homes for most. The best time to install an elevator is when one is planning their future or if aging in place is already happening. A safer option for accessing floors in the home can save money and prevent severe injuries. Click here for elevator pricing.

 

home elevators

Only way to go is up!

When it comes to modern day home building, more and more architects and home builders are designing homes with multiple stories. Square footage for homes have doubled since 1973. With lot sizes dramatically decreasing, and the demand for larger homes increasing, building vertically is the best answer to building a [new] home. New construction can cost up to 10% less per square foot when building vertically as opposed to building out. This saves on space, saves on land costs, and can easily accommodate an elevator. The trend in home elevators continues to expand every year. In Massachusetts alone, the number of home elevators have increased 29% since 2011 (Boston Globe).

According to the Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Homes Completed SOC data, 2 story homes have increased 33% and 3 story homes by 43% since 2009. The number of 4,000 square feet homes have increased 51% since 2011.

This trend in verticality is a trend to keep in mind when planning to build a new home. In the end, you can save yourself money, space, and have and even plan for an elevator if you build ‘up’ versus ‘out’.

homes big enough for an elevator

 

 

architecture

Benefits of a Home Elevator

Benefits of a Home Elevator

 

As times change and people live longer, more and more homeowners are installing elevators in their homes. Having a home elevator is an affordable solution for many needs and purposes. Whether you need to negotiate different levels of your home, looking to increase your home value or simply planning for the future, a home elevator is a wise investment.

 

Home Elevators Increase Home Value

Many home flippers are taking advantage of the instant dollar signs that come with putting an elevator in a house. Not only does it appeal to a larger home buying market, it can add $150,000 instantly to your home’s price.

Aging in Place

Aging in place is what everyone wants. When we are young and able, we don’t anticipate the effects of getting older. After age 65, many people have trouble getting up and down stair cases, in and out of bathtubs, etc. These situations can be a deal breaker for living in your own home- causing you to sell your home to live in a home that wasn’t originally your dream home, assisted living, or forced to move in with a family member or loved one. With the growing rates of assisted living and nursing homes, one could reason that the price of an elevator would cost less than three to four months of living in assisted/retirement communities.

stair chair for aging in place

Home Elevator is a Luxury

Home elevators are helpful in many ways, but also a luxury item. In larger homes, they certainly make life easier when traveling between floors. Home elevators can be customized with elaborate materials such as high end woods, marble, custom glass shaftways, and even gold.

Home Elevators Save Space

In the state of Connecticut, if you build a ramp, you must have 12 inches of length for every inch of rise (1:12). This can take up a great deal of space, very quickly. A home elevator takes up no more than 18 square feet in the home, saving far more space than that of a ramp.

ramp vs home elevator

Elevator Warranty

One of the best parts of having an elevator is being covered by warranty. Most manufacturers offer a standard 2-3 year warranty that will protect the home owner. Please note that regular service must be part of maintenance required for coverage under warranty. Elevator Service Company, Inc. has monthly, quarterly, biannual, and annual maintenance contracts that save time, money, and repairs.

elevator locks

Elevator Door Interlocks

Electromechanical door interlocks hold the door in place and prevent it from being opened when/if the elevator is in use. When the door closes, the interlock is engaged, enabling the elevator to operate.  Door interlocks are required by Connecticut State Code for all residential elevators and lifts.

Safety Features:

-Meets safety codes

-Reduced Potential Call-backs

-No Open or Exposed Contacts

-AMSE 17.1 and CSA-B44.1 compliant

elevator door interlock

full load test

Elevator 5 Year Full Load Test

 

An elevator is a vehicle and requires maintenance just like a car, train or a plane. The required testing is for the safety of the users. Having a 5 year full load test on time saves a home owner lots of headaches and money in the long run. Not only is it required by the state of Connecticut, it is also a requirement of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Per ASME 17.1, requires testing be done every five years. Not having this test could result in your elevator being red-tagged or dubbed as unsafe and therefore disabled.

Procedure:

125% of rated load is placed inside the elevator cab and the elevator is run several times. The mechanic would then reset the governor switch and operate the car at a normal speed in each direction to ensure the ropes stay in place and make sure it stops with distance applicable to the code. This also ensures that the break system is working properly.

The 5 year full load test is not the same as a pressure test. Pressure tests should be done annually.

To schedule elevator testing please call 203-757-5000.

custom home elevators

Customize Your Home Elevator

Customizing Your Home Elevator

Home Elevators

That’s right-home elevators. Architects and builders are finding their projects to include a home elevators or setting up the home for a future elevator by pre-creating a shaftway out of closets stacked in line. Having an elevator in your home can help you in several ways as a home owner.

Closet Shaftway

Converting Stacked Closets to Elevator Shaft

If a home elevator is something works with your home, you have endless options.

 

Conventional Elevator vs. PVE

Conventional elevators are placed in a shaftway built by a contractor. Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators (PVE) do not need a shaftway. The “tubes” come premanufactured and only require assembly. Since the shape is cylindrical, a round hole should be cut out of a ceiling, or a half-moon platform should be constructed at the landing if the tube is not going through a ceiling.

tube elevator

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator

 

 

The Cab of Your Home Elevator

Cabs can be customized with a wide variety of interior walls, tile, and fixtures. Most manufacturers provide various wood, metal, stone, and other standard design options, as well as customizable ones.

Residential Elevator Cab

 

Home Elevator Gates

The elevator gate (located inside the door), is a required safety fixture. Options for gates include scissor gate, accordion, and enterprise.

 

Home Elevator Gates

Home Elevator Gates

 

 

Elevator Configurations