Your Quick and Easy Elevator Code Checklist

Your Quick and Easy Elevator Code Checklist

Elevator code compliance doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Make sure your bases are covered with help from this elevator code checklist- including ASME, ADA, IBC and NEC.

Elevator code compliance isn’t necessarily a glamorous part of your job. It can seem such a tedious process, especially since elevator code falls under many different bodies. Although it can seem like a pain, the truth is they exist to encourage the overall safety and comfort of your property’s tenants- something that is undeniably important. Furthermore, you can face huge, unnecessary fines if an inspector finds you noncompliant, so it is essential that elevator code compliance is something that you regularly think about and attend to. We want to make it easy for you- here is an elevator code checklist that covers elevator requirements on a national level, looking at ADA, ASME, IBC and NEC.

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American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Elevator Code

ASME is often one of the first codes referenced by inspectors when it comes to elevators. Here are the items that they will look for:

  • A clean and dry elevator pit and machine/control room provided (ASME A17.1 Rule 2.1.2)
  • Machine/control room meets manufacturer’s requirement of preserving ambient temperature control and humidity (ASME A17.1 Rule 2.7.9)
  • Elevator floor covering installed with appropriate smoke and flame spread (ASME A17.1 Rule 2.14.2)
  • Functioning two-way communication provided (ASME A17.1 Section 2.27)
  • Elevator calls directed to a 24-hour live monitoring service that is able to respond to emergencies (ASME A17.1 Section 2.27) *NOTE: NEW IN 2019- If your elevator must meet A17.1-2019, there are some additional emergency communications requirements you will need to adhere to:
    • Two-way message display in cab for hearing and/or speech impaired
    • Means for authorized personnel to view video of passengers anywhere in cab
    • Means activiated by emergency personnel to change cab message to indicate help is on-site if over 60 ft of travel
    • See here for more details.
  • Smoke detectors located in every lobby and in the elevator machine room, with lobby detectors zoned- no built-in time delay, verification not permitted (Both ASME A17.1 Section 2.27 and NFPA 72)
  • “Flashing hat” signal is provided in the elevator in the event that a smoke detector is activated (Both ASME A17.1 Section 2.27 and NFPA 72)
  • Any equipment/accessories unrelated to elevator use/function/operation (i.e. pipes, ducts) removed from the elevator space and hoistway (ASME A17.1 Section 2.8)
  • Fire extinguisher provided in the machine/control room (ASME A17.1 Rule 8.6)
  • Normally operable door closer with self-locking lockset from within machine room provided (ASME A17.1 Rule
  • Machine/control room provides 19 foot candles of illumination at floor level (ASME A17.1 Rule 2.7.9)

Reprinted from A17.1-2019, by permission of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. All rights reserved.

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Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Elevator Requirements

ADA helps to ensure that tenants with disabilities have the same access to both elevator usage and safety. Here’s what you need to verify. (Source)

  • Elevators located on accessible route and comply with ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators- freight elevators not included (ADA 4.10.1)
  • Each elevator car is equipped with automatic self-leveling feature independent from the elevator operating device that brings cars to floor landings 1/2″ under rated loading to zero loading conditions (ADA 4.10.2)
  • Elevator call buttons are centered at 42” above the floor (ADA 4.10.3)
  • Elevator call buttons have visual signals that notify when a call is both registered and answered (ADA 4.10.3)
  • Elevator call buttons are no smaller than ¾” (ADA 4.10.3)
  • Elevator call buttons are raised/flush (ADA 4.10.3)
  • Any objects below elevator call buttons do not project into the lobby more than 4” (ADA 4.10.3)
  • There is a visible and audible signal at every hoistway that communicates which elevator will be answering the call (ADA 4.10.4)
    • Audible signals: either sound once to indicate up and twice to indicate down, or use verbal announcements that state “Up” and “Down”
    • Hall lantern fixtures’ center lines are located at least 72” above the floor
    • Visual elements are no smaller than 2 ½”
  • Raised and Braille floor indications are provided on all elevator hoistway entrances on both jambs (ADA 4.10.5)
    • Character centerline is 60” above finish
    • Characters are 2” high
  • Elevator doors open and close automatically, included with an automatic device that stops and reopens car and hoistway door if door is obstructed by object or person without requiring contact (ADA 4.10.6)
    • Door devices remain effective for at least 20 seconds
  • Elevator doors close at the appropriate minimum acceptable time after the time of an indicated elevator notification (ADA 4.10.7)
  • The minimum time for elevator doors to remain fully open in response to a car call is 3 seconds (ADA 4.10.8)
  • Space is provided for a wheelchair user to enter, reach controls and exit the elevator car (ADA 4.10.8)
    • Door opening is at least 36”
    • Cab length is at least 51” with at least 54” from the back of the cab to the face of the door
    • Cab width for side opening doors is at least 68”
    • Cab width for center opening doors is at least 80”
  • Floor surfaces are slip resistant (ADA 4.10.10)
    • If carpet is used it has ½” pile thickness or lower and all exposed edges are fastened with carpet edge trim
  • At least 5 foot candles are used for car controls, platform, car threshold and landing sill (ADA 4.10.11)
  • Meets car control panel requirements (ADA 4.10.12)
    • Control buttons are raised/flush and are at least ¾”
    • Control buttons are designated by Braille
    • Floor buttons for side approach are 54” or lower above finish floor
    • Floor buttons for front approach are 48” or lower above finish floor
    • If car has center opening doors, controls are located on front wall
    • If car has side opening doors, controls are located on front wall next to door or side wall
  • A visual indicator is provided above the car’s control panel to relay the position of the elevator within the hoistway with corresponding numbers that illuminate and an audible signal as each floor is passed or stopped on (ADA 4.10.13)
  • The highest operable part of an elevator’s two-way emergency communications system is 48” or lower from the floor of the elevator car (ADA 4.10.14)
  • The elevator’s two-way emergency communications system is established by a raised/recessed symbol and lettering adjacent to the device (ADA 4.10.14)

International Building Code Elevator Regulations

The International Building Code is updated every year. You will see an interesting new development below.

  • Elevator machine/control room venting has appropriate fire dampers in penetrations
  • Depending on the location, smoke dampers are installed in machine/control room venting
  • If floor is one or more stories above or below the level of exit discharge, a two-way communication system is provided at the landing serving each elevator or bank of elevators

See more here.

National Electric Code Elevator Regulations

We’re in the home stretch! There are just a few things regarding your elevator that you will want to check per the NEC: (Source)

  • Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected, receptacle outlets are provided in the pit and the machine/control room (NEC 620.23 ( c ), NEC 620.4 ( c ), NEC 620.85)
  • Car lights and receptacles are on a 15AMP separate branch circuit with a lockable over current protecting device located in the machine room (NEC 620.22, NEC 620.53)
  • Over current protecting device is externally operable, fused/thermally protected, lockable disconnecting means (NEC 620.22, NEC 620.53)
  • There is a separate branch circuit for the machine room light and receptacles (NEC 620.23)
  • There is a separate branch circuit for the pit light and receptacle with at least 10 foot candles (NEC 620.24)

Checking off the items on this list will help you to ensure that you have met important national elevator codes. NOTE: It is important to check your state building codes as well, as they may have further elevator code requirements.

For more information on how Kings III can keep you code compliant, visit

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