Elevator Inspections: Most Common Issues & Findings

Elevator Inspections: Most Common Issues & Findings

Elevators are an almost essential part of modern life. Not only do they make it easier to move between floors, but carrying large and heavy items is also no longer a troublesome task. But elevators that aren’t properly maintained also pose some significant safety risks.

A regular elevator inspection is necessary to make sure that it functions smoothly and safely. During inspections, there are a few common issues that come up which can become a problem if left unaddressed.

Door Operation Issues

One of the most common issues uncovered during elevator inspections is problems with door operation. Elevator doors are subject to significant wear and tear, and issues with the doors can pose a risk to passengers.

For example, if the doors do not open and close properly, passengers could become trapped inside the elevator car. Alternatively, if the doors do not close properly, passengers could be at risk of falling into the elevator shaft.

Door problems usually stem from misalignment, worn out door rollers or faulty door motors. Whatever the reason may be, it’s necessary to address the issue in time to make sure your passengers aren’t put at risk.

Worn Cables

Elevator cables are responsible for supporting the weight of the elevator car and its passengers. Over time, these cables can become worn and may need to be replaced. If worn cables are not replaced promptly, they can snap, leading to a catastrophic failure of the elevator system, and huge accidents.

During an elevator inspection, inspectors must check the condition of the elevator cables. If they find that the cables are worn or frayed, they will typically recommend that the property owner replace them as soon as possible.

While replacing elevator cables can be expensive, it’s not something you can compromise on. In the worst-case scenario, it can become a matter of life and death.

Faulty Sensors

Modern elevators are equipped with a variety of sensors that are designed to detect issues and prevent accidents. For example, there may be sensors that detect when the elevator car is not level with the floor, or sensors that detect when there is an obstruction in the elevator shaft.

During inspections, the sensors will likely be tested to make sure they’re working properly. Faulty sensors should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible.

Malfunctioning Brakes

Elevator brakes are very important for the safety of passengers. If the elevator brakes fail, the elevator car could plummet to the bottom of the shaft, putting passengers at risk of serious injury or death.

During inspection, you can expect the brakes to be tested. If the brakes are malfunctioning or worn, they should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible.

Outdated Safety Features

Elevator safety features have evolved significantly over the years, and older elevators may not have the same level of safety features as newer models. For example, older elevators may not be equipped with emergency phones or automatic door reopeners. These safety features are essential for ensuring the safety of passengers in the event of an emergency.

During an elevator inspection, inspectors will check the safety features of the elevator to ensure that they meet current safety standards. If they find that the safety features are outdated or inadequate, they will typically recommend that they be upgraded or replaced.

Problems With Buttons or Control Panels

Elevator buttons or control panels may become worn or damaged over time, making them difficult to operate or causing them to malfunction. This can be particularly problematic in emergency situations, where passengers may need to quickly access a specific floor or stop the elevator car.

Inspection findings related to elevator buttons or control panels may require repairs or replacement of faulty components to ensure safe and efficient elevator operation.

Signs & Labeling

Inspectors often check to make sure that all required signs and labels are present and clearly visible, such as the capacity limit, emergency phone number, and floor indicators. Missing or illegible signs and labels can pose a safety hazard to passengers and may result in violations or fines.

Lighting & Ventilation

Proper lighting is essential for passengers to see inside the elevator car, especially during low light conditions. Inadequate lighting can make it difficult for passengers to navigate inside the elevator, leading to accidents or injuries.

For this reason, inspectors will check that the elevator car is adequately lit and that all lighting fixtures are in good working condition.

Proper ventilation is also important for passenger safety. Elevator shafts can become stuffy and hot, especially in buildings with many floors. Proper ventilation helps to ensure that the air quality inside the elevator car and shaft is safe for passengers to breathe.

This is especially important for people with respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies. Inadequate ventilation can also lead to unpleasant odors or even the buildup of toxic gasses in the elevator, which can pose a serious safety risk.

Fire Safety

During the inspection, the inspector will check that the elevator has adequate fire safety measures in place to ensure passenger safety in case of an emergency.

This includes the presence of a fire extinguisher – in good condition, and in a conspicuous location – as well as smoke detectors and emergency lighting.

Even small problems with elevators can have catastrophic results, so for the sake of passengers’ safety and wellbeing, it’s always important to stay on top of inspections and maintenance.