HUD Issues New Requirements for Elevator Equipment Inspections
On Nov. 16, 2009, HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) published a new protocol entitled “Property Requirements for the Inspection of Elevator Equipment Rooms.” The new requirements, effective Jan. 4, 2010, apply to HUD-assisted and -insured properties with elevators.
Beginning on the effective date, REAC inspectors will not enter or inspect enclosed rooms that house only elevator equipment. If the door to the room is not locked at the time of the inspection, the REAC inspector will record a health and safety deficiency and will inspect the door.
If the room contains other inspectable equipment, such as water circulation pumps, compressors, and electrical panels for other electrical systems, the room will be inspected. In addition, if the elevator equipment room provides the only access to another area, such as the roof or other common area, the room will be entered.
Sites must take specific steps if the inspector is to enter the elevator equipment room, according to Kay McIlmoil, CPM, a REAC certified inspector. The sites must do one of the following prior to, or at the time of, the scheduled inspection, she says:
1. Have the elevator equipment located on an elevated balcony, gallery, or platform so that the elevator equipment is not accessible to an unqualified person;
2. Have the elevator equipment protected by permanent partitions, fencing, or screens so that the elevator equipment is not accessible to an unqualified person;
3. Have a qualified person at the inspection to enter the elevator equipment room with the REAC inspector; or
4. Provide the REAC inspector with a signed waiver or variance from the state, county, city, or other governing authority that permits access to the elevator equipment room without a qualified person being present.
REAC defines a “qualified person” as someone who knows about the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installation, and who has received safety training in hazards involved with electrical equipment, McIlmoil explains.
If the elevator equipment room is to be entered, the REAC inspector will record all deficiencies found on all inspectable areas other than on the elevator equipment located or protected as described in Steps 1 or 2 above. The inspector will record all health and safety deficiencies observed.
If the REAC inspector does not have access to the elevator equipment room that contains other inspectable equipment or is an access route to other inspectable areas, then the inspection will be ended. “In addition, the REAC inspector will also review the elevator certificates and inspect the operation of the elevators,” McIlmoil says.
The inspection will continue in accordance with the protocol detailed in HUD's Uniform Physical Conditions Standards (UPCS). The inspector will:
Review the elevator certificate(s) and record whether the elevator certificate is dated within the previous 12 months;
Inspect the operation of the elevator(s) itself and record any deficiencies;
Record any observed health and safety violations related to the elevator(s);
If the door to the elevator room is not locked at the time of the inspection, record a health and safety deficiency, adding a comment: “Door to the elevator room was not locked”; and
Record any deficiencies observed that are associated with the elevator room door (such as missing hardware).
Through its certified inspectors, REAC conducts approximately 20,000 physical inspections on HUD-owned, -insured, or -subsidized properties each year. Inspections help to ensure that the housing is decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair.
If you have any questions about the new elevator equipment inspection requirements, you can contact the REAC Technical Assistance Center at 1-888-245-4860 or at email@example.com.
Kay McIlmoil, CPM: REAC, FEMA, and FHA Certified Inspector, It's My Clip, LLC, dba IMC Inspections, 4111 Lakeview Pkwy., Locust Grove, VA 22508; (540) 846-7677; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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