Directive: Requirements for emergency communication systems for new elevators



Reference number
D-L4 070222 2

This Directive is being issued by a provincial safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act.

This Directive supersedes and replaces Directive No: D-L4 041130 1 issued November 30, 2004.

New elevators

This Directive is being issued to clarify the requirements of the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation (EDSR) in respect of emergency communication systems on new elevators. This Directive details the relevant clauses of the adopted Safety Code for Elevators CSA B44-04 that must be followed.

Finally, the role of local government bylaws is explained in relation to emergency communication systems for elevators.

Specific details:

Low Rise installations as defined in the current published edition of the British Columbia Building Code

Effective immediately, the requirements of and of the B44-04 (lobby phone) shall not be required for buildings that are not classified as “high” buildings as defined by the applicable Building Code. Two way communication may be permitted between the car and an off site location where an appropriate response can be taken to authorized personnel located elsewhere. All other aspects of of the B44-04 must be complied with.

High Rise installations

For additional requirements for high rise buildings as defined in the British Columbia Building Code, car emergency signaling devices for the elevator must comply with B44-04 Clauses to and and Update No.1. The lobby phone is only required when buildings are classified as “high” buildings as defined by the applicable Building Code.

Existing elevators

Existing elevators are not required to retrofit to the new EDSR and B44-04 requirements. Elevators that were installed prior to the adoption of B44-04 Update No.1 and Supplement No. 1 must comply with the codes that were in effect when the elevators were installed. However any voluntary retrofits to elevators must comply with current EDSR and B44-04 requirements and depending on their scope, alterations specifically defined within Section 8.7 of B44-04 may require a retrofitting of the communication system and equipment, in accordance with Clause

Local government bylaws

Local government bylaws enacted prior to May 29, 2003 may specify further requirements for elevator installations (both new and existing), provided that those requirements were not in conflict with, or not inconsistent with, provisions of the former Elevating Devices Safety Act and codes that were in force at the time the bylaw(s) was enacted.

After May 29, 2003, local governments are reminded that, in accordance with section 6 of the Safety Standard Act (SSA), they are not permitted to adopt bylaws concerning standards that are, or could be, dealt with under the SSA. This includes the EDSR and B44 – 04, unless the procedures detailed in SSA section 6 are followed.

For guidance, the B44-04 code defines “installation” in respect of elevators as “a complete elevator, dumbwaiter, escalator, material lift, or moving walk, including its hoistway, hoistway enclosures and related construction, and all machinery and equipment necessary for its operation”. Local government bylaws that are validly enacted, either before or after May 29, 2003, must be complied with.



Irvine Jay

Provincial Safety Manager, Elevating Devices




Bill 19 – 2003                 Safety Standards Act

B.C. Reg. 101/2004       Elevating Devices Safety Regulation

B.C. Reg. 105/2004       Safety Standards General Regulation

B.C. Reg. 137/2004       Safety Standards Act Repeal and Transitional Provisions Regulations