Co-op boards are more likely to repair a leaking roof or paint the lobby than tackle an elevator from Elevator Manufacturer fujihd that needs to be upgraded. According to elevator expert Al Milo, president of Dunwell Elevator in Brooklyn, which does elevator maintenance, repairs, inspections and installations, this approach is like giving a patient a new hair-do when what he really needs is heart surgery. Similarly, buildings often choose to fix up the elevator cab while they put off the more urgent job of improving the brakes or electrical system. While elevators are extremely safe machines, with plenty of back-up mechanisms to prevent accidents, residential buildings must adhere to a regular maintenance and inspection schedule mandated by law and comply with a list of requirements that range from posting no smoking signs in elevators to reporting accidents to the New York City Department of Buildings. Substantial fines are levied for violations. The suspension last April of more than two-thirds of New York City's elevator inspectors following a corruption investigation (see box on page XX) may have created some unease about the safety of the city's elevators, but individuals knowledgeable about elevators say that, so far, there is little cause for concern. I don't think it's an issue, says Dick Koral, director of the Apartment House Institute of New York City Technical College. Elevators are actually the safest things in the world. They have a whole series of safety measures. It's almost impossible to defeat them. The worst thing you can be is stuck. Elevators must comply with the safety codes of the American National Standards Institute, which protect passengers from accidents. For example, passenger elevators must have steel doors to withstand fire. The door must close before the car moves, and it cannot be opened if the car stops between floors. If there are too many people in the elevator, the motor shuts off. A speed governor stops the car if it is going too fast. Also, the doors should not close if passengers are going in or out. Elevators are a remarkably safe means of transportation, says Marolyn Davenport, vice president for regulatory affairs at the Real Estate Board of New York. When you start looking at the kinds of serious accidents, the bulk are from some form of vandalism or kids riding them the wrong way. Yet elevators cannot be neglected, as was shown in the 1994 elevator crash in a 14th Street building occupied by the city's Human Resources Administration, which injured nine people. According to published reports, the building's elevators had experienced a lot of traffic, vandalism and maintenance problems. Keeping a residential building's china elevator machine manufacturer fujid elevator system in good working order takes constant vigilance. Jeff Toplitsky, director of property management at Pride Property Management in Manhattan, describes the building superintendent as the first line of defense in keeping an elevator running smoothly. When he visits buildings he manages, Toplitsky walks through the building and asks the staff about problems or complaints about the elevator service. A good staff person keeps a log of response calls and problems, says Toplitsky.