What the Latest Elevator Safety Code Says About Your Emergency Phones & How CabView™ Can Help

Latest Elevator Safety Code

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?”

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 requirements to meet elevator code can vary by state based on the code year your state adopts. Visit our table further down on the page 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.

Looking for information on elevator video communication in regards to the 2018 International Building Code update? Get your info here.

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 require:

  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 footage 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

See our Elevator World article on the 2019 ASME elevator code updates. 

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. The code updates were established as a means of better assisting those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired. However, that’s not to say the updates won’t help with all calls placed from an elevator phone, especially when it comes to every day false alarms.

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” pushbuttons, like the example shown below.

Elevator Screen Conversation

GET INFORMATION ABOUT MUST-KNOW ELEVATOR CODE UPDATES

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WEBINAR: 3 Things You Need to Know About ASME 2019 Elevator Code Updates

Our latest recorded webinar, hosted by Kings III’s VP of Technology and Field Services Manager (a qualified elevator inspector and ASME Electrical Code Committee member) breaks down everything you need to know about the 2019 ASME elevator code changes and what this could mean for you. Download the recording for free.

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. Kings III can provide a cellular data connection as these increased requirements demand a complex set of deliverables with additional post-installation responsibilities.

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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 elevator11</