Vacant, Deputy Director
Elevator Inspection Process
In 1987 City Council adopted a ordinance designed to regulate the installation, repair and general safety of elevators, escalators, chair lifts, dumbwaiters, manlifts and similar conveyances. Conveyances located in commercial establishments are required to have an annual inspection and traction elevators are required to be periodically load tested to assure minimum safety standards are maintained. There are three basic components of this process; each involves the owner/operator of the conveyance: (1) Annual Operating Permit fee, (2) Annual inspection, (3) Periodic full-load test.
Owners and/or Operators of subject conveyances receive annually a combination Invoice and Notice of Required Inspection from the City. The Owner/Operator is responsible for scheduling the necessary firms and personnel to perform and witness required inspections and/or tests. Additionally, the Owner/Operator pays the prescribed Operating Permit Fee directly to the City.
This process is repeated each year as prescribed by law.
Annual Elevator Fee and Notice of Required Inspection
Each year, Owner/Operators of subject conveyances are mailed a combination Annual Elevator Fee invoice and Notice of Required Inspection. The Invoice/Notice describes the location, type and quantity of conveyances. The fee amount is indicated along with the type of inspection or test required for each conveyance. Conveyance Owner/Operators use this invoice to pay the operating permit fee, and to initiate the inspection process.
Invoice/Notice mailing is based on a quarterly cycle. The Owner/Operator of subject conveyances will receive the Invoice/Notice during the same quarter of each subsequent year.
An annual inspection is required for each conveyance. Inspection procedures are based on requirements appearing in the Elevator Code (ANSI A17.1). The City of Houston does not perform elevator inspections. Private sector businesses accepted by the City as "Approved Inspection Agencies" or "Authorized Companies" are engaged by the conveyance Owner/Operator to provide the inspection report. The Owner/Operator of the conveyance must coordinate the inspection process with their Inspection agency.
Full Load Test
Traction type elevators, and dumbwaiters equipped with safeties, require a full load test periodically. The load- test is to be performed once every (5) five years. Periodic load tests are not required for existing escalators, hydraulic elevators or conveyance types other than traction elevators and specified dumbwaiters.
Annual inspection may be performed by either an Approved Inspection Agency or an Authorized Company. However, only an Approved Agency may perform a load test. An Elevator Company or other qualified elevator maintenance personnel provide the necessary labor and material to perform the load test. The Approved Agency then submits a load-test report to the City.
If an inspector's report indicates violation of Houston's elevator safety regulations, the City will notify the conveyance owner/operator of the nature of violations and will stipulate a time by which corrections should be made. After corrections are made to the conveyance, the Owner/Operator must again engage the inspector to reinspect the conveyance and submit a reinspection report to the City. (Usually the same approved agency or authorized company that provided the original inspection report)
Upon receipt of both the Annual Operating Permit Fee and the Approved Agency's Inspection report (provided the inspection report indicates approval) the City produces and mails the Operating Permit to the Owner/Operator.
The Annual Operating Permit is to be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Operating Permit Fee
Houston's building code assigns a fee value for each conveyance within the city limits. The combination invoice and inspection notice displays the fee amount for the annual operating permit. This fee is to be paid directly to the City. Other expenses involved in the inspection process involve private agreements between Approved Inspection Agencies, Elevator Maintenance Companies (or qualified elevator maintenance personnel) and the conveyance owner/operator.
For questions about elevators call: (832) 394-8861.