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NYC Elevator Code: Mandating Enhanced Security Surveillance



In the realm of elevator regulations, a quiet but significant change has occurred, regarding the NYC DOB Elevator Code. Take a moment to absorb this: two-way communication is getting an upgrade, making room for voice and video features in new elevator installations and modernizations. Specifically designed for the hearing impaired (ASME A17.1 2019), this modification brings a practical touch to safety.


According to the recent insights of VSA Consulting (an elevator and escalator consulting and engineering firm), the code has undergone a subtle yet noteworthy transformation. In the article they note,


“Two-way communication to include voice/video for new elevator installations and modernizations for hearing impaired. (ASME A17.1 2019) This code change will require the building to have a 24 hour / 7 days a week monitoring service.

There will be a camera in the cab with the specialized emergency phone “help” button with a video screen, and a “Yes” and “No” buttons. When the “help” button is pushed it goes to the authorized monitoring service. A message will appear when call is acknowledged. When the operator answers it will display a message with questions to be answered by pushing the Yes or No buttons.

The camera will be used to see if people are entrapped, if no one responds and they do not see anyone, the help call will be canceled. If people are in the elevator, help will be dispatched on an emergency situation depending on the circumstances.

A message will be displayed notifying passengers that help is on the way.”


We dug up the code and noted the exact laws in place regarding surveillance in elevators. According to Appendix K of the “Modified Industry Standards For Elevators And Conveying Systems” code for New York effective June 10th 2023,


“A means to display video to observe passengers at any location on the car floor to emergency personnel for entrapment assessment shall be provided. The communications system shall be located within the fire command center where one is provided.”


In addition, the code states,


“A minimum 3” diagonal video display shall be installed in the car operating panel of the upper compartment so that the entire floor area in the lower compartment is visible. The display shall show the lower compartment when the upper deck is on Phase I Emergency Recall Operation and is at the designated level with the car doors open and shall remain on during Phase II Emergency In Car Operation.”


To read the full code on nyc.gov, please click here.


So, what does this mean for all those buildings with elevators? It's time to start checking out elevator cameras and their housing. Parabit has got you covered with a solution custom-made for elevators.


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