The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations for elevator signs can be located at ASME Safety Code A17. Two types of signs are needed. The first one is the signage on the elevator enclosure (called the “hoistway”) and the controls inside the elevator itself. On the outside, Code 17 has a requirement of 2 inches raised and Braille on each of the door jambs of the hoistway’s entrance with positioning 60 inches above floor level. Likewise, labeling is mandatory on the elevator’s buttons and the controls in the elevator’s interior, at a height at most, 48 inches from the floor.
The other type of elevator signage is directional signs pointing towards the location of elevators on each floor. Public buildings with several stories need to have directional and wayfinding signs to guide individuals to elevators, escalators, and stairways. Like every ADA compliant sign, these are designed to be highly visible with no-glare high contrasting lettering and standard international symbols for sighted people, with raised tactile lettering and Braille for those that have visual disabilities. The signs need to be positioned at a location that can be reached by those in wheelchairs. To assist the visually impaired, elevator signs need to also have Braille and raised letters and symbols. Elevators that can accommodate wheelchairs are required to display the raised symbol for wheelchair access. The lobby and corridors also need to have ADA compliant directional signage with symbols pointing to the elevators. In government and commercial facilities that are used by the public, the elevators need to have noticeable signs labeling their suitability, or unsuitability for use when a fire or other emergencies occur. Elevators or escalators that need electrical power can be reduced in those situations. A lot of multi-level buildings have elevator signs banning their usage when a fire, flooding or other situations whereas power can be cut off.
Local, State & Federal Requirements
A lot of states and cities that have high-rise offices and residential buildings have laws regulating the design and operation of the elevator. These detail the special safety and assistance issues with elevator fulfillments in taller buildings. Typically, the specifications for elevator signage are a part of a more thorough set of requirements for the building directory, plans for evacuation, building maps, and directional signage. These cover each of the safety requirements for emergency access, in addition to the requirements to assist individuals with disabilities. In a lot of cases, compliance to the ADA, ASME, and OSHA regulations is enough for these locations. At Federal levels, OSHA administers the regulations that control the design, construction, and maintenance of elevators utilized by employees. The OSHA requirements include the Car ID and capacity, inspection plating, warning signage for “In Case of Fire and Elevator Out of Order”. They mandate signs for open elevator shafts also, and exposure to possible dangerous electrical and mechanical parts. OSHA regulations also have a requirement for the distinction between freight elevators and ones meant for people.
Navigating an unfamiliar building can be more precarious for individuals with disabilities. This makes sense for individuals with impaired vision or mobilization. The more difficult aspects of moving through a building are managing doors and building-level changes such as ramps, stairways, elevators, and escalators. Think of being a blind individual trying to locate an accessible wheelchair elevator in an unfamiliar office or residential building. This is where ASME and OSHA required elevator signs come into play – they allow individuals in wheelchairs to stay away from stairways and the irritation of elevators that aren’t going to work in their favor.
- “Elevator Signs – ADA Compliant Braille Elevator Signage.” WeBuildSigns (WBS), www.webuildsigns.com/pages/elevator-signs.
Elevator Signs In Colorado
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