Millions of people ride residential and office building elevators daily. And if the elevator arrives quickly, provides a smooth and quiet ride, and is clean, riders get off on the desired floor and don’t give the experience a second thought.
But if there are delays, mysterious mechanical noises, vibrations, sudden unexpected motion, or signs of neglect or vandalism, it won’t be long before the ride becomes the topic of water cooler or Twitter conversation throughout the building. Word soon reaches the maintenance office, the facility manager, and perhaps even the building owner, says John Powers, president of Century Elevator, Inc., based in Quincy, MA, that services elevators throughout New England.
Powers says, “Elevators contribute to increased tenant satisfaction, and well kept elevators help to maintain or increase your building’s value.” He offers his “top tips” related to elevators that can help prevent buildings from getting a bad reputation.
- Monthly Inspection: A “drive by” elevator inspection isn’t adequate for such a complicated mechanical device. Make sure you’re getting a hands-on inspection.
- Modernization: Not only do modern elevators improve occupant satisfaction, but they can lower energy costs and make the building more “green.”
- Make certain your elevators meet or exceed state safety standards. Ask your elevator company about standards and how you’re doing.
- As in many fields, communication is key. Provide your elevator service team with regular input to enable continuous improvement and address service issues in the early stages.
- Over the years, many buildings have had a variety of installed equipment, renovations and upgrades using different manufacturers, technologies, etc. Your equipment can be better maintained when your vendor offers cross brand experience and expertise. Sometimes it’s best to upgrade/modernize the unit all at once—but only if you can deal with the downtime.
- Performing solid, routine maintenance during regular working hours is a lot more economical than having to pay for overtime/emergency repair calls.
- To prevent vandalism: Make sure elevators are operating efficiently. A defective relay or a damaged door track can slow performance. Long wait and travel times can produce frustration that leads to vandalism. Make sure lighting is bright and operating. A working phone is critical, and today more facility managers are installing security cameras in elevators.