Rules on elevators tightened

By Wang Jingqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-08 06:55

Helen Sun, who works for a media company in Beijing, and two others were trapped in an elevator two weeks ago. An experience she would not like to go through again.

They were trapped between the second and third floors of her residential building for 20 minutes before being rescued by the property service operators.

When Sun asked the property management office to install a telephone in the elevator, she was told the emergency system was adequate.

Now the only possible solution to the problem is to sue the property management office.

A person surnamed Li at the call center of the Beijing municipal bureau of quality and technical supervision, said: "In this case, you can sue both the property owner and the property management office."

The bureau supervises the use of elevators.

The Beijing municipal legal affairs office on Wednesday published new rules on elevator safety, which will be put into effect on June 1.

It requires owners or service providers of elevators to be at an emergency with 30 minutes of receiving a call. If they fail, they are liable to a fine of 5,000 yuan ($714).

They can also be fined 2,000 yuan if the emergency alarm fails to go off.

A woman employee at the property management office of Sun's building said: "I know elevators in our building are not good, and we'll repair them as soon as possible. We will definitely abide by the new rules."

The property, located in a prime location in Beijing, costs 15,000 yuan per sq m and 500 yuan a month for maintenance.

The new rules also require elevators to be checked every 15 days, and an overall examination once a year by specialized technicians to ensure safety.

Property owners hiring unqualified technicians in the installation of elevators face fines from 5,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan.

The rules are meant to ensure safety, especially elevators in public buildings, schools, airports, train stations, shopping malls, stadiums, and exhibition halls, an official from Beijing legal system office said.

Beijing bureau of quality and technical supervision statistics show there were 77,000 elevators by the end of last year, about 10 percent of the total number in the country.

Last year, elevators were the second major cause of accidents after cranes.

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