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Elevators need an inspection for several reasons. The primary reason is to ensure their safety for use. The Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) and Virginia law require elevator testing and inspecting at least once a year. The integrity of an elevator and the elevator shaft are critical elements in the fire safety of a building and can affect the fire fighting techniques of the Fire Department.
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The Building Code (Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) - 2012 Virginia Maintenance Code) applies to the buildings’ maintenance. This code sets minimum standards in which all buildings must meet. However, the standards may vary depending on the installation date of the elevator. Elevators installed after September 1973 must comply with the code in effect at installation. Elevators installed before September 1973 must comply with the minimum safety standards of the USBC-2012 Virginia Maintenance Code. All elevators must receive an inspection if they are in operation.
The code requires the training and certification of elevator inspectors. The city does not provide an inspector to inspect elevators. Elevator owners are responsible for making arrangements with qualified inspectors to have their elevators inspected and tested. The city will maintain a list of known qualified elevator inspectors. Owners may use inspectors on the list or submit another inspector’s credential for inclusion on the list. Qualified inspectors must possess:
The city charges a processing and administrative fee of $76.50 per Certificate of Compliance. The cost of the inspections and tests is the responsibility of the owner.
The city requires the performance of what is known in the code as a "periodic inspection and test." These procedures are outlined in Section 1002 of the elevator code, known as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers A-17.1.
Certificates are valid for one year from the date of inspection. Owners are responsible for ensuring that their elevators are properly inspected and certified.