The next time you’re thinking of taking the elevator up to class, you may want to consider taking the stairs.  Many elevators at the University of Rhode Island currently do not feature an up-to-date certificate of inspection, and others do not present any crucial information such as weight or capacity limits at all.

Failing to displaying this information and failing to present a current inspection certificate is illegal.  By Rhode Island state law, all elevators must undergo annual inspections and information such as the elevator owner, type of unit, elevator number, weight limit, speed (ft./min), and maximum capacity must be present, according to Rhode Island Chief Elevator Inspector Sean Egan.

Rather than a certificate of inspection, elevators at the university have a sticker of inspection from KONE, Inc.

“We had an agreement at one time, where because the elevator certificates were being ripped out so frequently, that the original certificates could be held on file in the office so that copies could be put into the elevator with the actual date it was inspected,” Egan said.  “Their sticker should not be covering any part of the state certificates, at the very least, not covering any important information.”

Not all of the KONE, Inc. inspection date stickers are up to date, however.  The sticker featured in the Memorial Union elevator is dated for May 7 of 2013, and there is no official state certificate of inspection available beneath it either.

This doesn’t help to put students and faculty at ease, especially for students Melanie Bonacasa and Jake Frenette, who were recently trapped inside the Union elevator briefly on March 30 when it suddenly stopped working.

“The elevator just stopped moving, but we heard the music from the people on the bottom floor playing pool, so we knew that we either on the bottom or stuck in between,” said Bonacasa.  “It took a few minutes for Jake [Frenette] to pry open the door and when he did there just a cement wall … we closed [the door] and starting pressing all the buttons on the elevator. Eventually we starting moving up and [it] opened back up on the second floor.”

Public records show that the Memorial Union elevator is up to inspection code through April 29, but neither Bonacasa nor Frenette had access to this information while they were trapped for 15 minutes.

The Memorial Union elevator has a posted notice of where to find records of the elevator’s certificate of inspection, but this important information was covered by a KONE, Inc. inspection date sticker.

For students who may be worried for their safety when riding an elevator on campus, due to a lack of necessary information, Egan assures that more than likely the chances are that the elevator is up to code and has been inspected.

“If anyone has questions regarding an elevator and when it’s been last inspected, they can call my office any time and I can give them up to date information,” Egan said.  “Or they can contact the maintenance office, who has the original certificate.”

Director of Facilities Jerome Sidio made a similar comment towards students questioning an elevators safety, that all records are kept on file and available to the public in the office of Safety and Risk Management.

Hopefully, students will not have worry about this next semester, since Sidio has made promises to address these issues.

“We will have KONE, Inc. go through and replace all of those so that they are in such manner that you can see the statement behind it,” said Sidio.  “We will give it 30 days to get those situated correctly.”