So don't be suprised when your elevator stops working, but don't try to climb out either.
More than half of the 10,000 elevators in the District are operating without valid licenses, including 26 at two D.C. government buildings, according to officials at the city agency that regulates them.
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs officials said they sent warning notices about license renewals last year to owners of buildings with elevators. Responses came back regarding 4,144 elevators, which have since been inspected.
But Darrell Donnelly, the agency official responsible for issuing elevator certifications, said in an interview that an estimated 5,300 are operating without valid licenses.
District law requires elevators to be inspected every six months. Building owners must request the inspections, which are frequently done by outside contractors because the city's two elevator inspectors can't handle all the work.
Graham said relying on third-party inspectors is problematic because the city is not able to monitor those inspectors closely.
In the past five years, two fatal elevator accidents have occurred in the city, both as people tried to escape elevators that had stopped between floors, said Linda Argo, a spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. But Argo said people should not be overly alarmed about elevator safety.
"We're confident that the elevators in the District of Columbia are safe," Argo said. "People don't need to be afraid to step on an elevator. What people should focus on are the safety provisions while on an elevator."
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