The Bureau of Elevator Safety works to ensure elevators and escalators throughout the State of Florida remain the safest mode of transportation by enforcing elevator safety laws and licensing and regulating industry professionals, elevators, escalators, and other vertical and inclined conveyance devices such as dumbwaiters, moving walks, stairway chairlifts and inclined or vertical wheelchair lifts.
The bureau is charged with enforcing Chapter 399, Florida Statutes (FS), Chapter 30 of the Florida Building Code, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, the State Fire Marshal’s Uniform Fire Safety Standards (NFPA 72), and portions of the National Electrical Code (NEC 70) and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bureau also provides administrative support to the Elevator Safety Technical Advisory Council.
Administrative support personnel located in Tallahassee process elevator licenses, permits, and elevator professional registrations and licenses. The Tallahassee office also maintains inspection, accident and complaint data for response and follow-up. Annual service maintenance contract status verification and Certificate of Operation renewals are coordinated with the division’s licensing office.
The bureau’s elevator inspectors conduct complaint investigations, private elevator inspector oversight, accident follow-up, on-site safety inspections, and monitor licensees and local-partner programs. Privately-employed certified elevator personnel perform the required annual inspections, tests, and maintenance. Only Certified Elevator Inspectors with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Qualified Elevator Inspector (QEI) credential who are registered with the department are able to conduct elevator inspections.
Elevator construction in the state continues to increase, seeing a 27% increase in elevator licenses since 2005. The bureau’s inspection activities have increased more than sevenfold from 1,314 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2003-2004 to 9,464 in FY 2009-2010.
In recent years, the bureau has focused more closely on monitoring the private inspectors and achieving greater compliance with the licensing requirements for existing conveyances. At the end of the 2012-2013 licensing year, this focus on license compliance resulted in the bureau achieving an unprecedented compliance rate of 98% of all active elevators having current licenses.
More information on bureau activities is available in the division’s annual reports.
Recent History of the Bureau
The 2000 Florida Legislature passed legislation amending Chapter 399, FS, which changed the structure and responsibility of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants with regard to regulation of the elevator and vertical transportation industry. For more about these changes, please see Important Information Sheets 2000-03 and 2000-06.
The 2001 Florida Legislature enacted additional changes to Chapter 399, Florida Statutes (FS), regarding elevator safety. These changes took effect on January 1, 2002. The Division of Hotels and Restaurants released Important Information sheet 2001-08, summarizing some of the most important changes.
All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Rick Akin, Director
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
Bureau of Elevator Safety
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1013