DOB Launches Elevator Safety Campaign

The DOB recently implemented its “Stay Safe. Stay Put” campaign to remind New Yorkers that if one becomes stuck in an elevator, the safest place to be is inside the car. According to the DOB, elevators are among the very safest forms of transportation, but New Yorkers have been seriously injured trying to escape stalled elevators. “New York’s elevators make billions of safe trips a year, so they’re one of the safest forms of transportation – but you still need to use common sense. Don’t overload elevators and if you get stuck, don’t panic. Ring the alarm, relax, and wait for help to arrive,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler.

Injuries sustained by New York City elevator passengers have decreased significantly over the last 10 years, from 105 injuries in 2007 to 51 last year. The city’s more than 71,000 elevators make billions of safe trips each year—making elevator travel in New York City far safer than any other form of transportation. However, two incidents that occurred late last year highlight the dangers of trying to escape stalled elevator cars. On Oct. 5, 2015, a man died trying to escape an elevator car that stalled due to overloading at 156 Hope Street in Brooklyn. And on New Year’s Eve last year, another man was killed in a similar incident at 131 Broome Street in Manhattan.

The DOB’s elevator unit ensures the operational safety, reliable service, and lawful use of vertical transportation devices throughout the city, including elevators, escalators, amusement rides, personnel hoists, dumbwaiters, material lifts, wheelchair lifts, conveyors, and other related devices. The unit ensures that each elevator in the city is inspected at least twice a year: once by DOB or a DOB-hired inspection firm, and once by the building owner. Every five years, building owners must perform an intensive elevator inspection, including load tests to ensure that the elevator can hold its rated capacity, and report the results to DOB.