Here’s What the Latest Elevator Safety Code Says About Your Emergency Phones

The end of 2019 brought us the publication of the updated ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. As is typical with any code revision, we found our customers and other equipment owners and maintainers/installers asking, “What does this mean for me?” With elevator safety always at the top of our priority list, Kings III has anticipated this update from ASME long before it was published with the goal of answering this for you.

First things first: This page deals with information centering around the 2019 ASME A17.1 update, which is not currently applicable to everyone. It’s important to note that the specific necessary requirements to meet elevator code can vary by state, and thus far, there are only a handful of states that have adopted the new elevator code for 2019. Visit our table below and select your state to identify the code year applicable in your location and specific requirements for your emergency elevator phones. (Of course, it’s always beneficial to be familiar with changes that your state will likely adopt in the future. Read on for more information on the 2019 elevator code changes related to emergency elevator phone monitoring and capabilities.)

Now let’s get down to the changes– You can find a bulk of the updated language in Section 2.27.1: Car Emergency Signaling Devices.

ASME A17.1/CSA B44 2019, Section 2.27.1: Car Emergency Signaling Devices has been updated to include:

  1. Two-way message display in the elevator cab for hearing and/or speech impaired
  2. A means for authorized emergency personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in the cab
  3. A means activated by authorized emergency personnel to change the cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 feet of travel

What does this mean? The distinction here from codes past is the inclusion of requirements specifying how a person who answers an elevator entrapment call communicates with who is in the elevator. Two-way communication has always been important, but now there is more specific language to help elevator riders get the help they need.

We’ve all been there when the elevator help phone button is pushed accidentally, and the passengers pretend it didn’t happen or, maybe just walk out of the elevator. What does a monitoring station do if it doesn’t get an answer? Monitoring stations receive up to 1,000 false calls every day, but what if a rider needs help but can’t be heard? These updates will allow for clarity, thus preventing more unnecessary dispatches for help.

The accomplishments these changes intend to meet include providing additional assurance, not only for those placing the call for help, but also for those answering the call. If a passenger does not or cannot respond– possibly because they are speech- or hearing-impaired– the new code means emergency personnel will now be able to use a nonverbal means to communicate. This can be accomplished by posting messages in real time on an in-car display. Operators will select prewritten messages, and passengers will be able to respond “yes” or “no” back to the monitoring personnel using the “Door Open” and “Door Closed” push buttons, like the example shown below.

Elevator Screen Conversation

ASME A17.1 Video Communication

The requirement for a one-way elevator video communication stream allows emergency personnel to see inside the elevator, which gives them the ability to better assess the situation, such as confirming whether there is a passenger who cannot respond due to disability or incapacitation. Live, encrypted video of the elevator interior would be available to the remote-monitoring local station, local fire control panel, or building security desk.

Find out how to improve safety and reduce costs at your property

Our best-in-class emergency phone + monitoring solutions provide peace of mind and are backed by decades of expertise

Learn More

Below, you can find an overview of ASME A17.1 elevator code requirements by year, including those updates made in 2019.

Select your state to highlight the ASME code year that the state follows.

ASME A17.1/CSA B-44 Code Requirements & Year20002004/072010/13/162019
Select a State...Two-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel1111none
Select a State...Machine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
Select a State...Answer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
Select a State...Communication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
Select a State...On-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 by authorized personnel1111
Select a State...Location identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
Select a State...Location identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
Select a State...Hands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
Select a State...Automatic answer when calling into elevator111
Select a State...Automatic redirect if no answer onsite111
Select a State...Offsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
Select a State...Local telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
Select a State...Two-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
Select a State...Means for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
Select a State...Means activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
AlabamaTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112019
AlabamaMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
AlabamaAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
AlabamaCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
AlabamaOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
AlabamaLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
AlabamaLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
AlabamaHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
AlabamaAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
AlabamaAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
AlabamaOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
AlabamaLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
AlabamaTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
AlabamaMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
AlabamaMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
AlaskaTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112013
AlaskaMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
AlaskaAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
AlaskaCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
AlaskaOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
AlaskaLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
AlaskaLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
AlaskaHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
AlaskaAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
AlaskaAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
AlaskaOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
AlaskaLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
AlaskaTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
AlaskaMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
AlaskaMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
ArizonaTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112007
ArizonaMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
ArizonaAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
ArizonaCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
ArizonaOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
ArizonaLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
ArizonaLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
ArizonaHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
ArizonaAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
ArizonaAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
ArizonaOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
ArizonaLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
ArizonaTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
ArizonaMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
ArizonaMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
ArkansasTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112007
ArkansasMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
ArkansasAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
ArkansasCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
ArkansasOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
ArkansasLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
ArkansasLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
ArkansasHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
ArkansasAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
ArkansasAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
ArkansasOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
ArkansasLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
ArkansasTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
ArkansasMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
ArkansasMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
CaliforniaTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112004
CaliforniaMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
CaliforniaAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
CaliforniaCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
CaliforniaOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
CaliforniaLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
CaliforniaLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
CaliforniaHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
CaliforniaAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
CaliforniaAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
CaliforniaOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
CaliforniaLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
CaliforniaTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
CaliforniaMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
CaliforniaMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
ColoradoTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112013
ColoradoMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
ColoradoAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
ColoradoCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
ColoradoOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
ColoradoLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
ColoradoLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
ColoradoHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
ColoradoAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
ColoradoAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
ColoradoOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
ColoradoLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
ColoradoTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
ColoradoMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
ColoradoMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
ConnecticutTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112013
ConnecticutMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
ConnecticutAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
ConnecticutCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
ConnecticutOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
ConnecticutLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
ConnecticutLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
ConnecticutHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
ConnecticutAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
ConnecticutAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
ConnecticutOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
ConnecticutLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
ConnecticutTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
ConnecticutMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
ConnecticutMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
DelawareTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel1111none
DelawareMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
DelawareAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
DelawareCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
DelawareOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
DelawareLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
DelawareLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
DelawareHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
DelawareAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111
DelawareAutomatic redirect if no answer onsite111
DelawareOffsite communication shall not interfere with on-site communications111
DelawareLocal telephone line status monitoring and local alert11
DelawareTwo-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired1
DelawareMeans for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab1
DelawareMeans activated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel1
FloridaTwo-way communication between elevator and authorized personnel11112013
FloridaMachine room communications if over 60 ft of travel1333
FloridaAnswer by live authorized personnel - no automated answering1111
FloridaCommunication capability for onsite authorized/emergency personnel1111
FloridaOn-site monitoring if staffed 24/7 bu authorized personnel1111
FloridaLocation identification on demand to authorized personnel1111
FloridaLocation identification without voice communication (ADA compliance date 1994)2111
FloridaHands free devices only (handsets not approved)111
FloridaAutomatic answer when calling into elevator111