The Department of Buildings announced that owners of private homes with both registered and unregistered elevators can request a DOB inspection of the device with no penalty for the next 90 days.
The program comes after a woman was trapped in the elevator of a Manhattan townhouse, where she worked for three days while the owner was out of town.
The woman was rescued when a delivery man contacted the owners when he couldn’t gain access to the house.
The new three-month program, will allow DOB to perform initial inspections and tests of any registered or unregistered private elevator free of charge.
The amnesty is intended to encourage owners to bring their private elevators into compliance with DOB safety regulations and to have them inspected regularly – as required by law – to ensure that they are mechanically sound.
DOB’s of January’s incident found that the elevator hoist motor had burned out and failed, causing the elevator to become stuck between two floors, and that the emergency phone inside of elevator car was not operable.
“Preventable incidents like this can be avoided by ensuring that private residential elevators are not only registered with the department but also regularly inspected and properly maintained,” said the department in a press release.
Elevator devices in New York City, including dumbwaiters, platform lifts, and stairway chair lifts are legally required to be registered and have a certificate of compliance from the Department of Buildings to ensure they can be operated safely.