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Elevator CAT1, CAT2 and CAT5 Witness Testing in New York City.

DOB elevator code adherence in New York City is required by the Department of Buildings to ensure that a building has working and safe elevators for all users. Adherence to these codes also ensures that equipment is properly functioning.


What parts of the city are affected?

All. According to the DOB (Department of Buildings), an elevator or escalator located within The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island must be tested and inspected twice per year. Companies are hired by the DOB to conduct these inspections. In most cases, these inspections are unannounced to the building owner or manager.


VSA (Vertical Systems Analysis) is a DOB-approved Elevator Consulting Company that is able to provide Witness Testing. Category Testing is how the DOB helps building owners and building managers ensure that their elevators are a safe and reliable form of transportation for their users. The NYC DOB, Department of Buildings Guide to Elevators describes each of the tests.

Category 1 (CAT1)

No load safety test performed between January 1st and December 31st each year

Category 3 (CAT3)

Performed on water hydraulic elevators only every three years from date of installation

Category 5 (CAT5)

Witness testing is performed with rated load and speed every five years from the installation date according to New York law.



Building managers and owners have the responsibility to hire competent and importantly licensed elevator inspectors to perform these annual elevator and escalator tests. In addition, the building owners and building managers have the responsibility of hiring the services of a 3rd party, impartial elevator consultant to provide the witness testing. (witnessing the inspection) This is the part that is the Category Test Witnessing. https://www.vsaconsulting.com is licensed to do this.


Building owners and managers have a responsibility to hire capable, licensed elevator inspectors to perform these annual escalator and elevator tests. In addition, the building managers and building owners are required to hire third-party elevator consultants to provide impartial witness testing. (witness the inspection.) This is the part that is the Category Witness Testing. VSA Consulting is licensed to do this.


Recently, and based on statistics, annual elevator inspections attended by Elevator Consulting Companies have detected about 50% more violations in NYC. Elevator Consulting Companies are also beneficial because they can demonstrate to the building owner’s insurance company that the building is in compliance with laws while also protecting substantial building assets.


During elevator testing, the elevators and escalators are subjected to extreme conditions that under normal operation are atypical. These extreme conditions help ensure that any possible problem with vertical transportation is identified. This proactively helps to isolate any small issues that could become big issues over time. Also, and most importantly, it helps ensure the safety of all users of the elevators and escalators.


Why choose VSA, (Vertical Systems Analysis) for 3rd party Witness Testing?

To find out more about the role Vertical Systems Analysis can play in CAT1, CAT3 & CAT5 test witnessing, please contact our licensed and fully qualified technicians and engineers.VSA is a New York State licensed third-party agency that can perform test witnessing of your vertical transportation. With our extensive support staff, we can also complete your third-party code inspections, processing, and filing fees for you.

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