Ontario Conducting Research Into Solving Elevator Problems

Last year, we published a helpful little guide about the dos and don'ts of how to use an elevator if you live in a high rise apartment. Those helpful tips centred primarily around human behaviour, but they won't help you if the elevator itself is becoming the problem.

For those of you living in condominiums in Mississauga that have been around a few decades, or even the most recently built ones, how often does the elevator in your building malfunction and require maintenance? In my own building, I know that even if one elevator breaks down, it results in elevator cars jammed to the hilt for days until the technicians actually come by to fix it, and their delay is occasionally caused by them needing to obtain parts they need.

In all honesty, a proliferation of malfunctioning elevators is not as big of a growing concern for a younger demographic who could just take the stairs if the elevator in their condo breaks down, but what about other condo residents who are not as able bodied? If elevators in residential condominium buildings are regularly malfunctioning and breaking down, how do people with disabilities, not to mention seniors, go about their daily business? Using the stairs to go up and down while the elevators are out isn't really an option for some people.

This issue of residential elevator reliability has become such a problem that the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has ordered the provincial safety agency to commission a mandated research study as to the cause of constant elevator outages due to poor maintenance and service. The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is now calling for bids to do the research and report on potential solutions by mid-October 2017.

The contract requirements will include coming up with methods of assessing and measuring elevator availability in residential buildings, retirement and long term care facilities. The researchers must find out how bad the problem is, what the actual causes are, and report on legislative and nonlegislative steps federal, provincial and municipal governments should implement in order to deal with the issue.

With Ontario experiencing one of the largest construction boom in residential properties in North America, there will be no shortage of the need for elevators as well as future elevator maintenance and services to go along with all those new condominiums in Mississauga and beyond.

If there is a way to figure out a long term solution to nip potential elevator problems in new buildings in the bud, as well as figure out how to prevent them from constantly occurring in existing buildings, then there's no harm in trying.

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