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“Help! I’m trapped in the elevator!”

Whether you are involved in the installation of an elevator, or whether you’re the building’s owner, this is the last thing you want to hear. Each city requires elevator companies that install them initially as well as building owners to ensure that the elevators are up to code, safe, and in possession of an elevator permit.

Elevator Permits for Elevator Companies

If you recently started a business as an elevator company, it’s important to know how important it is to get an elevator inspection and then building permit for your elevator for each and every project you work on. Safety should be your number one concern, and the best way to ensure it is to have a certified inspector review your installation work and sign off on it.

The inspector will have criteria to review with regards to the installation and functionality of your elevator. If any of the following are found, your business license will not be approved until you address the issue:

  • Imminent safety concern: a passenger is in danger of injury
  • Noncompliance: you did not comply with regulations and requirements presented after the initial inspection
  • Unapproved equipment: use of a device not covered by your city’s Elevator Safety Orders

Once your inspection is approved, the elevator permit application process should go smoothly. Keep in mind, you will not be able to consider the elevator ready for use until that permit has been approved, so allow time for it to be processed.

Elevator Permits for Building Owners

While the responsibility of the initial elevator permit falls on the shoulders of the company that installed it, after that, it’s your responsibility to renew it annually. Each year, you are required to schedule an inspection to ensure your elevator is still mechanically sound and safe. As long as the inspector finds that to be the case, your elevator permit will be approved and renewed for another year.

Not having an up-to-date elevator permit is a serious issue. Building owners have been found to be noncompliant only after someone was injured by an improperly operating elevator. You risk lawsuits if your elevator is a hazard, so it’s cheaper -- and safer -- to have your annual inspection. Talk to your business license agency to find out if you need additional business licenses, permits & tax forms approved before you can operate.

Just make sure to clearly post your permit in the elevator where riders can see it, and be assured that it’s up to date.

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