Ten Things Building Owners MUST
Know About Their Elevator Service Contract
1. Avoid terms like "systematic,
periodic, or routine" when it comes to stiplulations of schedule of maintenance
in a contract. If the equipment needs monthly maintenance, the elevator
maintenance contract should state so and provide a credit if service is
not performed. Quarterly or semi-annual maintenance in a commercial application
is questionable as door equipment regularly needs adjustments and electrical
contacts need to be cleaned.
2. Save money by knowing
what you can do yourself! All elevator operational parts should only be
installed or maintained by elevator personnel. However, the building owner
owns the elevator, and is free to purchase common replacement parts to
have as inventory. Building owners can purchase things like push button
lamps at a fraction of the cost from Elevator Supply Direct and have them
on site when elevator personnel come to replace them. This will save money
and time by getting the elevator up and running faster. Elevator Supply
Direct can help you build a small inventory of common replacement parts
to have available so you do not have to pay the inflated prices of elevator
maintenance contractors. Elevator contractors also charge a premium for
signage, keys and other items that can be purchased directly from Elevator
3. Make sure the contract
defines what parts are covered and what is "obsolete." Many elevator maintenance
contracts stipulate that equipment over 15 years old is obsolete. This
may be convenient for the elevator contractor, but expensive for the building
owner. The contract should define parts not covered by the maintenance
agreement due to availability problems of parts and components for purchase
4. Keep in mind your contract
renewal dates! Most maintenance contracts include automatic renewal terms.
If the contract includes a cancelation clause which requires a minimum
of 90 days notice, do not wait! Make sure contractors know they must continue
to prove themselves as the best maintenance providers or they will lose
5. Require licensed personnel!
Include a provision in the contract that all personnel performing maintenance
and adjustments must show proof of valid licensing. This will provide assurance
that the personnel has the experience and training required for working
on the equipment.
6. Get it in writing! Each
time service is performed, get a copy of the work performed in writing.
Sometimes maintenance is recorded with corporate code numbers that help
the contractor know what was done but are of no value to the building owner.
Get a copy of the actual maintenance work that was performed, as well as
a log of the hours spent on the maintenance, including times in and out.
7. Hire an independent inspector
for annual testing. If you are in a state or jurisdiction that allows or
requires private elevator inspectors, hire your own. An independent inspector
will inspect the work of the elevator contractor as well as issues which
are the responsibility of the building owner. Elevator Supply Direct will
be happy to connect you with a recommended inspector in your area.
8. Know the word "Indemnification."
This is a term to limit or direct liability to responsible parties. Indemnification
of the party directly working on or adjusting the equipment should not
be done without legal advice. Standard contractors' agreements include
this language. Some building owners do not thoroughly read the agreements
or seek legal counsel and sign these agreements anyway. This practice leads
the building owner to own full responsibility for all work performed.
9. Be prepared for an accident,
should it occur. (Hopefully it won't!) Before an elevator accident does
occur, does the building owner have a plan? If not, contact an elevator
consultant immediately. Confirm in writing that the consultant does not
have any contractual or other affiliation with the buildings elevator contractor.
DO NOT ALLOW ANY REPAIR WORK, ADJUSTMENTS OR ERASING OF CONTROL SYSTEM
SOFTWARE BY THE ELEVATOR CONTRACTOR. ONLY ALLOW SUPERVISED EMERGENCY REMOVAL
OF ENTRAPPED PERSONNEL. Regardless of how small of an injury or incident,
inform the consultant of the injury or incident immediately. Request a
site review and finding by the consultant as soon as possible.
10. Secure the services of
an elevator consultant to help you understand code requirements. Quotes
for "code required" modifications should always be confirmed with a consultant.
Many contractors use the latest code modifications to up-sell customers.
While the modifications may be beneficial, they may not be required for
your elevator vintage. By seeking advice from an elevator consultant, building
owners can more than pay for the consultant's fees by qualify what actual
"code required" modifications are required for each specific elevator.
The above information
was provided by Elevator CSI. Elevator CSI is an international elevator
consulting company that provides professional elevator inspection, consultation,
and expert witness services.