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Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
 

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Elevator Inspections

inside an elevator shaft

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for the inspection and approval of all elevators in the District.

DCMR 12A, 3010.1 General. No elevator or conveying system, including, but not limited to, escalators, dumbwaiters, wheelchair lifts, cartveyors, manlifts and moving walks, shall be operated without a valid certificate of inspection issued by the code official.

Exceptions:

  1. Where the code official authorizes limited approval of use in accordance with the provisions of Section 3010.2.
  2. Elevators and conveying systems covered by the Residential Code where the equipment is serving one dwelling unit.
  3. In Groups R-2 and R-3 occupancies where the equipment is serving one dwelling unit.

DCMR 12A, 3010.4.1 Posting of certificate. A copy of the most current certificate of inspection shall be conspicuously displayed at all times within the elevator car or attached to the conveying system unless exempted pursuant to Section 3010.6. If the building operator maintains an office in the same building, the certificate of inspection may be made available for public inspection in the office instead of being on display within the elevator.

The District of Columbia requires that an owner of a conveyance that is in public use have a valid Certificate of Inspection issued by DCRA in order to operate that conveyance in accordance with DC law.  The certificate represents a culmination of a process whereby the Authority having Jurisdiction certifies the conveyance has undergone the required inspections and tests consistent with DC regulations.

All new conveyances must have Final Acceptance inspections and tests.  Any conveyance that has had permitted work performed on it will require Final Acceptance type inspections and tests performed as described on the permit.

The Certificate of Inspection is valid for a period of two (2) years, in which the conveyance must undergo periodic inspections and testing per ASME A17.1 appendix N which is made mandatory by the DC Construction codes amendments.  All conveyances will need to be inspected every six months (twice a year). One inspection will be a periodic inspection by a QEI certified elevator inspector (usually without assistance) to verify the overall condition and safe operation of conveyance.  The second will be an inspection and witnessing of tests by a QEI certified elevator inspector of the conveyance and related systems (usually performed with assistance of the elevator, generator, and fire alarm companies).

DCMR 12A, 3010.9 Renewal of certificates. The certificate of inspection, for each elevator and conveying system, must be renewed every 24 months, or at an alternate interval specified by the code official, as long as the unit is in service. Renewal of the certificate of inspection will be granted upon satisfactory demonstration to the code official that the unit of equipment has met all of the inspections and testing required by the Construction Codes and referenced standards.

The renewal of Elevator Certificates of inspection may be obtained by visiting the Licensing Counter located on the second (2nd) floor of DCRA at 1100 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024.  There you will fill out a Conveyance Information Card and have the owner’s and billing information verified for accuracy.  You will then be directed to the fourth floor room E400 to have the elevator Periodic and the appropriate Category I or Category V inspection reports reviewed by a DCRA Elevator Inspector. All inspections must have been completed within the previous year (365 days) at time of renewal. If the conveyances are approved for certificates the inspector will indicate approval on the form and direct you back to the second floor for payment at the cashiers window. After payment return to the Licensing counter to have the certificates printed. 

Business licensing may be reached by calling 202 442-3911

Elevator Inspectors may be reached by calling 202 442-4400

New Inspection Details

DCMR 12A, 3010.2.1 Work performed under permit. A permit issued to install, relocate, alter or repair any equipment covered by this chapter, shall serve as limited approval of use of the equipment by the permit holder during the period of such installation, relocation, alteration or repair.

Elevators or conveyances that are under permit for Alteration or Modernization may have the Certificate temporarily suspended for the period of construction.  After all inspections and tests have been performed the certificate may be re-instated.

The issuance of Elevator Certificates of inspection for a new conveyance may be obtained by visiting the Licensing Counter located on the second (2nd) floor of DCRA at 1100 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024.  There you will fill out a Conveyance Information Card and have the owner’s and billing information verified for accuracy.  You will then be directed to the fourth floor room E400 to have the elevator Final Acceptance inspection reports (Initial and all follow up Re-inspections) reviewed by a DCRA Elevator Inspector. All inspection reports must accompany the application.  If the conveyances are approved for certificates the inspector will indicate approval on the form and direct you back to the second floor for payment at the cashiers window. After payment return to the Licensing counter to have the certificates printed. 

Man Lifts require 12 inspection reports every calendar year to receive a certification.

Inspection Checklists and Documentation

Third-party inspectors are required to use the checklists below:

 

Elevator Safety Tips

Although riding an elevator is considered the safest form of transportation, following a few simple guidelines can improve your safety.

When waiting for an elevator:

  • Look and listen for the Elevator arrival lantern and gong
  • In the event of a fire or other emergency DO NOT WAIT FOR THE ELEVATOR- TAKE THE STAIRS
  • Allow passengers to exit before entering

When Boarding:

  • Watch your step- the elevator may not be level with the floor
  • Stay clear of the moving door- although the door does have sensing device there is a small delay for the door to react- you may be struck by a door that is in motion
  • Mind children and pets- leashes and tethers may not activate the door reopening device leaving you and your loved ones on opposite sides of the doors
  • Once inside press the button for the desired floor and move aside to allow room for others
  • Never try to stop a moving door with your hand or foot- use the DOOR OPEN BUTTON

When Riding:

  • To avoid falls stand next to walls and hold handrails if available
  • Pay attention to position indicator
  • If doors do not open automatically when the elevator stops press the DOOR OPEN BUTTON

When Exiting:

  • Watch your step- the elevator may not be level with the floor
  • Exit promptly- other riders will need to exit and enter too
  • Stay clear of the moving doors- have someone hold the DOOR OPEN BUTTON if you need more time 

ELEVATOR EMERGENCY

In the event you become trapped in a stalled elevator:

  • Do not panic, there is plenty of air- elevator cabs are ventilate
  • Use the DOOR OPEN BUTTON- Do not try to pry the door open
  • Press the ALARM BELL BUTTON to summon help
  • Press the PHONE BUTTON to call for assistance from emergency personnel.
  • Wait for help to arrive- only trained personnel should ever  remove passengers from an unresponsive elevator.
  • Try to relax.
  • Wait for trained personnel to arrive- dangerous situations may be created by untrained people that think they are helping.

FIRE EMERGENCIES

In the event of a Fire Emergency:

  • Call 911
  • Do not use the Elevator
  • Use the exit stairs- stairs are fire exits and are designed to protect you.
  • If you are in an Elevator when a fire breaks out the elevator will return to the main egress floor and will automatically shut down. Exit the elevator and the building when the doors open.

Escalator Safety Tips

When entering escalators:

  •  Watch the direction of the moving step and step on and off with extra care.
  • Take care if you are wearing bifocals or similar eyewear.
  • Hold children firmly with one arm or hold child’s free hand.
  • Hold small packages firmly in one hand, but always leave one hand available to hold the handrail.
  • Grasp the handrail as you step onto the moving step.
  • Do not walk or stand in the opposite direction of the escalator travel.
  • Do not take wheelchairs, electric scooters, strollers, hand carts, luggage carts or similar items on the escalator- USE THE ELEVATOR. 

When riding escalators:

  • Keep loose clothing clear of steps and sides.
  • Wear closed-toed and hard-soled shoes, and avoid wearing footwear made of soft-resin or other rubbery materials.
  • Stand clear of the sides of the escalator.
  • Face forward and keep firm grip on the handrail.
  • Reposition your hand slowly if the handrail moves ahead or behind the steps.
  • Don’t climb onto or ride the handrail.
  • Do not let children sit on steps or stand too close to sides. 

When exiting escalators:

  • Don't hesitate and step off promptly.
  • Make sure to step over the comb fingers; don’t let your feet slide off the end of the escalator.
  • Immediately move clear of the escalator exit area; don't stop to talk or look around since other passengers may be behind you. 
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