How will the 2019 ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Code Updates impact your property?

Recent News Reveals Elevator Rides Turned Tragic. What Can We Do?

As we all know, building code is paramount, especially when you own or manage commercial or multifamily properties. So what does the new ASME 2019 A17.1 code update mean for building owners and managers?

Let’s start with the basics. 

Meet The New Two-Way Video & Messaging Elevator Code

Our best-in-class emergency phone + monitoring solutions provide peace of mind and are backed by decades of expertise-now compatible with video and messaging systems

Learn More

What is ASME and why are they issuing building codes?  

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was founded in 1880 when a group of engineers met to discuss concerns resulting from the rise of industrialization and mechanization in industry.  In 1884 they established the Boiler Test Code. After an explosion that resulted in 58 deaths and 117 injuries, ASME formed the Boiler Code Committee. One hundred and forty years and many codes later, they have become the industry standard. 

Changes are broad and as always our focus will be on amendments to the emergency communications systems in elevators. We know recently, in 2018, IBC 3001.2 was updated to include video communication. ASME has followed suit and also added video code, but what else is changing and how do you accommodate those changes?


ASME 2019 Updates Image

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.

To find those answers, we sat down with Dave Mann, Vice President of Technology at Kings III to discuss the technical aspects of CabView™ elevator video monitoring, Kings III’s approach to the updated elevator code. Mann is responsible for the technology infrastructure that enables operations and all Kings III services offered to customers. He has more than 30 years career experience having worked with major 3rd party security and fire central stations as well as operating his own consulting firm serving the same industry.  

ASME A17.1 Car Emergency Signaling Devices has been updated to include:

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

ASME 2019 Elevator Code

Q&A with Dave:

Describe Kings III’s solution to this new ASME code requirement.

We have been working closely with MAD Elevator to solve for new code requirements, but our Kings III phones and CabView elevator video monitoring are compatible with video messaging systems and fixtures from a range of manufacturers. We will be able to use our existing code-compliant phones with new two-way video components. When our Kings III Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) is alerted to an entrapment, we will connect to the elevator car camera to augment our audio communication.

See Our Recommended Minimum Standards for Elevator Emergency Phone Monitoring

Additional details about how the Kings III/MAD Elevator solution meets ASME requirements can be found in this Elevator World article.

How will this work? How will the video display and phone interact with each other from a technical perspective?

In this initial system, the phone and the video are separate systems. We combine their functionality at the EDC. The phone creates an inbound call to the EDC and while the EDC begins working the call, our software will connect to the video system in the elevator.

What will this change about the way Kings III emergency operators currently respond to emergency calls?

Adding video to any call received can help determine if there is anyone on the elevator at the time we connect or possibly if someone is in the elevator and is not able to respond.

How will the new video communication system change the end-user/caller experience?

Being able to potentially see an issue that is not apparent in an audio-only session could create a much-improved outcome for the caller when they are unable to respond to us audibly. For Kings III property manager and building owner customers, where enabled, this will allow us to have visual confirmation of entrapped passengers vs a false alarm and empty elevator.

Will this change any additional technical features in the current Kings III monitoring service?

The addition of one-way video and two-way text communication will change how the end-user communicates with our operators but with CabView, our monitoring will remain the same and will feature the same Kings III all-inclusive benefits. The use of existing features will also be updated.

Will customers still have the option to utilize either landlines (line seizure) or cellular service or will this be cellular only?

In this iteration, the customer can use all existing options for the phone. Since the video and text are separate from the communication path of the phone, some form of broadband data will need to be available for the video and text component.

Any concerns with the use of VoIP with this solution? Any hurdles?

The video and text portion is a data-only communication path and we’d always opt for the simplest and most capable service available. Being dependent on customer networks for emergency services is always concerning, both for us as well as for customer company internal IT teams, so establishing a data connection independent of the customer network will be explored.

As someone with 30 years of experience in the alarm industry and more specifically as someone managing the technical side of emergency alarm centers, what is your opinion on any unforeseen benefits of this new code? Unforeseen issues?

There will be hurdles and benefits that fall outside the scope and reasoning of the code. Video adds a dynamic element that doesn’t exist in an audio-only environment. As we’ve learned, sometimes our phones are used for ‘off-script’ purposes, such as reporting crimes or fires, kids getting locked out of their apartments, and other on-demand or creative uses.

Be sure you’re compliant with ASME A17.1– refer to this table for your elevator’s emergency communications requirements, depending on the ASME code year your state follows.


Reprinted from ASME A17.1-2019/CSA B44:19, by permission of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  All rights reserved.

Not sure which year your state follows? Learn here.

Kings III Emergency Communications has been providing complete, compliant, and affordable emergency phone solutions for elevators, poolside, stairwells, parking areas, and more for over three decades. Our all-inclusive turnkey solution includes equipment, installation, maintenance, and 24/7 monitoring at our very own Emergency Dispatch Center for one low price. We design our equipment with code compliance and caller experience in mind, staying at the forefront of code and technology changes. Interested in utilizing Kings III CabView elevator video monitoring? Contact us here.

Understanding Elevator Emergency Communication Code Compliance


Kings III Makes The Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work List Becoming a 2x Winner

Kings III was honored to be recognized by its employees and The Dallas Morning News by making the daily newspaper’s Top 100 Places to Work list, falling in at 17th in the midsize companies category, jumping from its 26th standing in the previous year.

How to Handle After-Hours Emergencies

Not all on-site emergencies take place during regular working hours, but that doesn't make them any less important to address. Here's how property managers can effectively respond to property emergencies occurring after-hours without an unrealistic, burdensome workload.

The 5 Most Common Reasons Smartphones Fail at Property Safety

If you rely on tenants' smartphone use as an on-site emergency response, you're opening up some liability issues when it comes to property safety. Here's what you need to know.

Prepare an Emergency Plan for Your Fitness Center

Because your fitness center could be one of the more popular amenities on your property, it certainly brings a need for a plan to manage risks that can occur. If you haven’t already, it’s important to establish life safety and emergency response practices specifically designated for the area. Here are some of the essentials.

Elevator Communications and Data Connection Requirements: Properly Evaluating Security Risk, Reliability and Encumbrances

There’s a lot to consider when thinking about the new elevator emergency communication code requirements. Deciding to use your own network creates a long checklist and more work for you. Granting a third party vendor access to your network is an option but has risks. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

Check Your Property Crime Stats for 2021

As part of Building Safety Month, we’re taking a look at some fundamental property crime statistics that all property managers should know, adding in some of our own crime prevention and crime response tips.

The Downfalls of Using a Deactivated Cell Phone for Your Emergency Pool Phone

We have found as an emergency pool phone provider that there are multifamily communities unaware that their current pool phone service is actually using a deactivated cell phone. Depending on the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), this often does not pass inspection for several reasons. This puts both property managers and their tenants at risk. Learn why.  

Kings III Expands Emergency Monitoring Benefit via FirstNet Network: What You Should Know

Kings III equipment has been approved for the use of FirstNet, built by AT&T, which is a long-term evolution (LTE) network that gives first priority to first responders and other public safety personnel. Learn more here.

Kings III Emergency Communications’ M90 Phone is Now FirstNet Ready®

After a rigorous review process, Kings III’s emergency phone host control panel, the M90, is now FirstNet Ready™ and ready for use on FirstNet®, a public safety network. Learn items of note.

Kings III makes it easy as a single point-of-contact for all your emergency response needs. With expertise in line connectivity, compliance codes, equipment maintenance, and safety protocol, we offer the total package- now compatible with video and messaging systems and fixtures from a range of manufacturers.