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Elevator Safety Code Compliance - Elevator Brakes

Dru Brooks

Your Guide to Florida's Upcoming Elevator Brake Deadline

Imagine taking a trip to your office building. You press the elevator button, the doors slide open, and you step inside. As the elevator comes to a rest at your destination, a sudden jolt throws you off balance. Thankfully, modern safety features prevent a free-fall scenario depicted in countless movies. However, less dramatic safety concerns do exist, prompting code updates to address potential hazards.

This blog post dives into a critical deadline for elevator compliance in Florida. We'll explore the upcoming changes, explain your options for meeting the code, and highlight the advantages of proactive elevator modernization.


The Looming Deadline: Upgrading Elevator Brakes by 2028

The State of Florida-Bureau of Elevator Safety adopted new safety regulations concerning elevator brakes. By August 1st, 2028, all traction elevators with single plunger brakes must be upgraded to comply with one of the following:

  • Dual Plunger Brake Assemblies: This involves installing a braking system with multiple triggers that engage with the motor’s drive wheel or sheeve, bringing the elevator to a safe controlled stop when electrical charge is removed.
  • Unintended Car Movement Protection: This method utilizes rope grippers that clamp onto the hoisting ropes in case of unexpected movement, preventing uncontrolled ascent or descent.

Elevator Code : Single Plunger Brakes Single plunger brakes. 

■ All existing traction elevators with single plunger brakes must comply with either of the following by August 1, 2028

1) Alteration of single plunger assemblies to dual-plunger type or 

2) Compliance with Unintended Car Movement Protection as specified by Section 2.19.2 of ASME A17.1.

Reason for Elevator Code Update

Single plunger brakes, while functional, present a potential safety risk. If the single brake fails, the elevator could drift up or down, creating tripping hazards and other dangers. The updated code aims to minimize this risk by mandating a more robust braking system.

Considering Your Options: Dual Plunger vs. Rope Grippers

Both dual plunger assemblies and rope grippers meet the new code requirements. However, each approach has its own advantages:

  • Dual Plunger Assemblies: This upgrade represents a complete overhaul of the braking system. While offering the highest level of safety, it can be a more complex and expensive option based on the age, make and model of your equipment.
  • Rope Grippers: This method offers a simpler and potentially more cost-effective solution. Rope grippers can be installed on existing hoisting ropes, requiring minimal modifications to the elevator system.

Beyond Compliance: The Benefits of Elevator Modernization

While the deadline focuses on brake upgrades, consider the long-term value of elevator modernization. Modernization offers a comprehensive approach that goes beyond meeting code requirements. Here's how it can benefit your building:

  • Enhanced Safety: Modern elevators incorporate the latest safety features, minimizing the risk of accidents and ensuring passenger well-being.
  • Improved Performance: Modern elevators are equipped with advanced technology, resulting in smoother operation, reduced downtime, and increased energy efficiency.
  • Elevated Aesthetics: Modernization offers the opportunity to upgrade the elevator's interior and exterior design, creating a more visually appealing and contemporary space for your building.
  • Increased Building Value: A modernized elevator system enhances the overall value of your property, making it more attractive to tenants.

Taking Action: A Step-by-Step Guide

Meeting the 2028 deadline requires proactive measures. Here's a roadmap to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Schedule a Free Consultation (2024): A qualified elevator professional can assess your current system, determine the most suitable upgrade option (dual plunger, rope grippers, or modernization), and provide a cost estimate.
  2. Budget Allocation (2025): Factored into your building's budget, this ensures you have the necessary funds for the chosen upgrade path.
  3. Upgrade Implementation (Before December 31st, 2027): Allow ample time for permitting, design, and installation to avoid last-minute delays and potential violations.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute!

Proactive planning is key. By addressing the upcoming deadline well in advance, you can:

  • Secure a Qualified Contractor: As the deadline approaches, demand for elevator services will increase, potentially leading to longer wait times and higher costs. Contact Liberty Elevator Today.
  • Explore Modernization Options: If modernization aligns with your long-term goals, starting early allows for a thorough evaluation and informed decision-making.
  • Ensure a Smooth Transition: Early action minimizes potential disruptions to your building's operations and allows ample time for equipment procurement as industry supplies will undoubtedly become more difficult to source as the deadline nears.

Peace of Mind and a Safe Ride

Elevator safety is paramount. By understanding the upcoming Florida code requirements and taking action now, you can ensure your building remains compliant, prioritize passenger safety, and potentially reap the long-term benefits of elevator modernization. Contact a Liberty Elevator Corporation today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the best course of action for your building.

Remember: Your local elevator code requirements may vary. Be sure to consult with a qualified professional to determine the specific regulations applicable to your location.

Liberty Elevator Can Raise Your Property Value

Liberty Elevator Corporation is committed to improving your property safety through vertical transportation that is efficient, cost effective and attractive to your guests. Weather you need a complete elevator modernization, dual plunger brakes, rope grippers or regular maintenance, Liberty will deliver results that ensure your property’s' elevator or code compliant.

Contact Liberty Elevator for an evaluation of your property and an honest assessment of your elevator options across New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia & South Florida.

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Code References

ASME Elevator Code: Link

The Elevator code (ASME A17) may seem like a black box, with very limited exposure to the public and filled with information that seems protected by the DOB and Elevator industry. In an attempt to shed light on the mystery surrounding the elevator code and better inform our clients on safety requirements and their options as property owners and managers, we have created a series of Code Update Blogs to educate you on the impact of these codes on your buildings and elevators.