Buying an apartment? Check lift safety

The recent mishap of an elevator collapsing in one of the residential projects of Indirapuram has raised questions on the safety of elevators being used in new constructions. Till date, many of us ignore elevator safety parameters while buying a home. Maybe it is time to sit up and be cautious of not just the money being invested but also the quality of utilities that are being installed or being used during the construction phase for our safer future.



Usually elevator installation is the builders’ responsibility while maintenance is taken care by the resident welfare association (RWA). The association provides maintenance contract to the agency which is also assessed by the designated statutory body and given certificate. This certification is renewed on regular basis to ensure the maintenance is being done at intervals.


What happened in Indirapuram does not only show the technical failure but also how the local authority has failed to address the issue. While answering the RTI petition filed by Alok Kumar, one of the residents of Arihant Harmony Society says, “Ghaziabad Development Authority clearly stated that there are no specific guidelines for elevator safety and maintenance.”


However, Sangeeta Vij, member, Indian Association of Structural Engineers and Director Technical (Structure), AECOM India Pvt Ltd says, “Structural engineers are responsible for designing the lift placement in the building on the basis of what is mentioned in the National Building Code where safety is not a structural engineer’s responsibility.”

 

Although, Delhi government is still in process to draft a new bill for elevator safety, the city follows Bombay Lifts Act 1939. The city of high-rises, Mumbai has a governing law that implies strict rules for the elevator safety. Bombay Lifts Act 1939 poses some of the safety guidelines where Section 4 of the act states, “Every owner of a place intending to install a lift in such a place after the lift commencement of this Act, shall make an application to such officer as the State Government may authorise in this behalf for permission to erect such lift.”

 


Similarly in Bengaluru, the state government came into action mode after a mishap in recent days. As per recent statement, "Though there is a clause that tells building owners to sign a maintenance agreement with the lift company to ensure safety, not many follow them. Under new rules, lift licences have to be renewed after 10 years of installation and for five subsequent years thereafter. During renewal, if the lift is found to have problems, its operations will be suspended.”

 


Being a consumer, your safety is of paramount importance. Hence, Magicbricks reached out to Ravikant Sharma, one of the structural engineers to understand how safety level can be checked at individual level-


-          Check the posted capacity of elevators (depends on the dimension of the lift )
-          Check if there is enough room to stand comfortably in the elevator cabin.
-          Check the alarm button and floor buttons
-          Ask for safety certification from the agency and RWA.

 


Source: magicbricks.com dated May 19, 2015