Elevator Issues

With more than 70,000 elevators in New York City, using an elevator is now a daily part of our lives. DOB’s Elevator Unit ensures the operational safety, reliable service and lawful use of elevators, and other related vertical transportation devices throughout New York City. The unit provides the public with prompt, accurate and transparent information on all elevator issues and procedures.

If you have concerns about the operation of the elevator in your building visit 311 Online. In the case of an emergency dial 911.

Elevator Outage: What You Should Know

When your building owner fails to restore elevator service as ordered by DOB, and after a compliance period expires, the elevator condition is referred to NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). HPD assesses the necessary actions that need to be taken based on why the elevator is inoperable. HPD may then hire an elevator repair company if the property owner is unwilling or unable to do so in a timely manner.

NOTE: HPD may also seek a judgement in Housing Court to order the owner to restore the service.

If HPD’s contractor performs work to repair the elevator, the expenses for the repair work are billed to the property owner. The City will bill the property through the Department of Finance for the cost of the emergency repair. If the owner fails to pay, the City will file a tax lien against the property.

Elevator Safety

3 Rules if You Get Stuck in an Elevator...

  • Ring the alarm.
  • Relax because help is on the way.
  • Wait without prying open the doors.

Before Entering an Elevator...

  • Look down and make sure the elevator is level with the floor while entering and exiting.
  • Do not exit the elevator if it stops more than 9 inches from the landing.
  • Press the door open button to hold closing elevator doors instead of using any part of your body.
  • Never lean on elevator doors.
  • Keep clothing items like ties and scarves clear of closing elevator doors.
  • Be patient and don’t crowd the elevator. Too many people crowded into elevators can cause it to get stuck.
  • Avoid jumping which can make an elevator uneven with the floor. You can also get stuck.

In an Emergency...

  • Never use an elevator in the event of a fire.
  • If elevator gets stuck, remain calm and wait for help.
  • Never attempt to pry the elevator doors open.
  • Use the emergency call button.
  • Follow the instructions from the building management.
  • Never attempt to exit a stalled elevator without the help of the building management or emergency responder (e.g. Police, Fire Rescue).
  • Move to the rear center of the elevator and face the doors while waiting for help.

Visit 311 Online if you are concerned about the operation of an elevator and dial 911 for life-threatening emergencies.