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New York City Elevator CAT1, CAT3 and CAT5 Witness Testing

In New York City, elevator code adherence is an important part of ensuring that elevators are working safely for all users and that equipment is properly functioning.


According to the Department of Buildings (DOB) and NYC Maintenance of Buildings Codes, any escalator or elevator located within Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn or Queens must be tested and inspected twice per year. Contracted inspection companies conduct the inspections for the DOB. These inspections are typically unannounced.


Vertical Systems Analysis is an approved DOB Elevator Consulting Company that can provide Witness Testing. Category Testing is how the DOB helps ensure that elevators are safe and reliable forms of vertical transportation.

The NYC Department of Buildings Guide to Elevators describes the different category tests as follows:

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 .



Annual elevator inspections attended by elevator consulting companies are detecting about 50% more violations in NYC. They also are a benefit because they demonstrate to insurance companies that you are complying with the law and they also protect your buildings’ assets.


What happens in an elevator test? Escalators and elevators are subjected to extreme conditions that are not typical under normal operation. This is performed to help ensure that any possible adverse situation is brought out that could cause the verticals to fail. This proactively helps identify small issues before they can become large ones. It also helps ensure the safety of the users of the elevators and escalators.




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

VSA is a New York State licensed third party agency that can perform 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.

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.





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