January 2024 Elevator Code Updates in Florida

January 2024 Elevator Code Updates in Florida

A Roadmap for Community Managers

By Don Holloway / Published December 2023

Photo courtesy of Kings III

As you likely know, there’s been a significant emphasis on elevator safety in the state of Florida as of late. On the one hand, this is a good thing. Elevators are an essential part of life safety, and when not addressed properly, elevators can present many vulnerabilities to both residents and to associations (in terms of liability). On the other hand, new legislation on the matter doesn’t necessarily come without additional headaches, costs, and, oftentimes, confusion. We’re probably preaching to the choir here as we approach the deadline to comply with Florida’s Door Lock Monitoring (DLM) code.

With the DLM deadline approaching January 1, 2024, it’s crunch time; and we hope most, if not all, of you already have this taken care of this, but it’s important that you are aware of an additional upcoming elevator code adoption. On the very day that the deadline to comply with the DLM code closes, Florida will be adopting ASME’s updated 2019 version of A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.

Hopefully your elevator company has kept you in the loop, and this isn’t a total surprise. Either way, we’ve been dealing with this across the country for over three years now as other states gradually adopt it, so we’re ready and more than equipped to walk both you and your elevator company through the process. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the Change?

In the updated A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, looking specifically at Section 2.27.1: Car Emergency Signaling Devices, there are a few important additions of which to make note.

First is the inclusion of requirements specifying how the person answering an elevator entrapment call communicates with those in the elevator. Two-way communication has always been important, but ASME has added language stating, in a nutshell, that elevator emergency communication now must include the following:

  • Two-way (text-based) messaging capability for the hearing and/or speech impaired
  • Video capability*
  • A message must be displayed to indicate a call has been received and help is on the way and/or on site

So, what does this mean?

  • Whoever answers your elevator call needs to be able to have text conversations and be able to view passengers in the cab.
  • *Video surveillance is not required to run live 24/7, but the emergency operator must be able to activate it when the emergency call button is activated.

Why the Change?

We’ve all been there when the help button is pushed accidentally, and the passengers pretend it didn’t happen or, maybe, just walk out of the elevator. What should the responder do if he/she doesn’t get an answer? Monitoring stations receive up to 1,000 false calls every day. On the other hand, what if a rider needs help but can’t be heard?

The intent of the change is to provide additional assurance, not only for those placing the call for help but also for those responsible for providing help. If a passenger does not or cannot respond—possibly because they are speech- or hearing-impaired—the new code means emergency personnel will now be able to use a nonverbal means to

The requirement for a one-way video stream allows emergency personnel to see inside the elevator, giving them the ability to better assess the situation, such as confirming whether there is a passenger who cannot respond due to disability or incapacitation. Live, encrypted video of the elevator interior would be available to the remote-monitoring station, local fire control panel, or building security desk.

Is This Applicable to Me?

Unlike the DLM code, this is not retroactive. ASME 2019 new code requirements will only apply when elevators are permitted for new construction or modernization after adoption of the code by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Of course, many property managers prioritizing life safety may choose to comply regardless of requirements to keep up with the cutting-edge standards. It also may be in your best interest to make upgrades to older or non-modernized elevators on the same property to ensure emergency communication system consistency. This could include elevators of a different age or type from the new installation or modernized elevator(s).

Here’s where this gets murky, as which modernization projects actually warrant compliance can vary at the local level. Taken at face value, according to ASME, enforcement would be triggered by any change to elevator equipment, including its parts, components, and/or sub systems, other than maintenance, repair, or replacement. However, what we’ve found is some AHJs have stated any alteration will trigger the code, while others only require the trigger for new installations. The good news for you is we have a team of code compliance experts that understand ASME 2019 and its application (and nuances) across the country. You can reach out to us to assist with compliance in your local jurisdiction.

What Are the Next Steps?

It’s important to know that the solution to meet this code is two-fold.

You will need an updated video/messaging system, requiring a new panel with additional data capabilities. Your elevator company will need to install this fixture.

You will need an emergency response solution that is not only capably equipped to respond in compliance with the new code updates but will also respond with the appropriate urgency and care. That’s where someone like Kings III comes in.

When you start working with your elevator company on modifications, you should be thinking of who will be doing your monitoring early on and let them know. Not only does this help with coordination, but also it will allow you to avoid getting locked into a proprietary monitoring solution with restrictive equipment that may limit your elevator service company options.

As mentioned previously, Kings III works with elevator companies across the country in states that have already been enforcing this code (some for three years now). We have installers across the state of Florida, and our CabView monitoring solution works across multiple manufacturers of fixture hardware, so no matter the new panel installed, we can accommodate it. Additionally, and just as importantly, we bring in the data connection to keep this off your community’s networks, protecting it from potential security risks (you can learn more about this at go.kingsiii.com/data-connection).

Helping to ensure a best-in-class response, our CabView solution features the following customary all-inclusive benefits:

  • Phone equipment & installation
  • Lifetime maintenance
  • 24/7/365 professional emergency monitoring and response
  • You can comply without compromise.
  • Help Us Help You

When it comes to elevator codes, you’ve been through enough lately. We’re here to help navigate this next set of requirements, making it as seamless and hassle-free as possible.

You can learn more about ASME 2019 and our solution at go.kingsiii.com/asme-FL, or reach out for consultation from one of our code experts at go.kingsiii.com/cabview-expert. n


Don Holloway is an elevator mechanic, qualified elevator inspector, and Kings III chief manager of field services. He has been with Kings III Emergency Communications for 11 years but in the elevator trade for over 25. During that time he has worked as a mechanic, service manager, inspector, and consultant. He carries a QEI with NAESA and CET/CETS with NAEC in addition to 36 state licenses. Don also sits on the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Electrical Code Committee. And since codes vary in their use and adoption, he works closely with local jurisdictions to ensure compliance.