Electrical and Elevators

Electrical and Elevators

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a permit required? 

A permit is required before any work is commenced on any electrical installation, which includes elevators. 

What are the permit fees? 

Permit fees are based on the total cost of the installation including materials, labour and all reasonable traveling and living expenses incurred by the applicant while absent from his or her place of residence and in the course of carrying out the electrical work. 

A minimum fee of $45.00 will cover projects valued up to $500. Permit fees for projects over $500 have been calculated for you.

Who may apply for a permit? 

Any individual that is registered as a Qualified Electrical Worker in the Northwest Territories may apply for an Electrical Permit. 

Click here for information on Residential Property Owner’s permits. 

May I obtain a permit by mail, facsimile or email? 

A permit may be obtained by a qualified electrical worker from any regional electrical inspector by mail, email or in person. Payment is accepted by cash or cheque. A qualified electrical worker can also obtain a permit by facsimile (867-873-0117) from the headquarters office in Yellowknife, with payment made by visa. 

A homeowners permit can only be obtained in person from any Regional Inspector. 

Qualified electrical workers may also fill out and the online permit applications directly from this web site, sign and submit.

Should I purchase the permit or let the contractor purchase it? 

The electrical contractor is required to obtain the permit as part of the project agreement. This is simply because the permit holder is the party responsible for the work and complying with the codes and regulations. 

Click here for information on Residential Property Owner’s permits. 

How long is a permit good for? 

An installation permit, other than for a temporary consumer's service for construction is valid for one year. 

An installation permit for temporary consumer’s service for construction is valid for 90 days. 

In both instances an inspector, upon application may grant one or more extensions of an installation permit at no additional fee. 

May a permit be voided? 

An inspector may cancel an installation permit, other than a temporary consumer's service for construction, where no work has been done under the permit for 90 days or longer, or the holder of the permit fails to comply with any provision contained in the permit, the Electrical Protection Act or the regulations. 

The Electrical Inspector may cancel the homeowners permit at his discretion. 

May a permit be returned for a refund? 

An inspector shall, on the application of the holder of an installation permit or a residential property owners permit, refund all but ($25.00) twenty five dollars of the fee paid if the permit is cancelled; the electrical work authorized by the permit is included in another permit; or the job is cancelled or destroyed before completion. 

No person is eligible for a refund of fees under a permit unless an application for refund is made within 90 days of the permit issued and no work has commenced.

What do I have to do before I can install an elevating device in the NWT? 

The qualified elevator mechanics shall be registered in the NWT.
Plans must be submitted for our records and for inspection purposes; stamped by a Professional Engineer registered with N.A.P.E.G.G.
A permit to install an elevating device is required. 

What kinds of plans are required? 

The inspection department requires that the owner/agent submits field drawings, safety and directional circuits and specification sheets of the elevating device. 

Do they have to be engineered drawings? 

Yes, the owner/agent submitted plans must be stamped by an Engineer who is registered in the NWT. 

When is the elevating device inspected? 

Once the plans have been received and the permit issued, the installation can be installed. When the installation is completed, the contractor makes arrangements for the initial inspection. The elevating device is them inspected annually. 

How do I know if an elevating device has been inspected? 

A certificate is issued with a valid date. It is posted in the elevator car and near the elevating device.

Should I feel safe about riding in an elevator that has an expired certificate?

It is the responsibility of the property manager to post the current Certificate; however, an expired Certificate does not mean that the elevator is unsafe. Inspection services prime concern is the safety of the elevator.

I live in an apartment building where the elevator breaks down frequently. Can you investigate this elevator to make sure the elevator is operating safely?

If you have concerns about elevator safety in your building, please contact Kevin Dunbar: 867-767-9043 ext. 32034 or email: kevin_dunbar@gov.nt.ca. Once the appropriate details are collected from you regarding the elevator in question, Inspection services will start an investigation.

There is no Certificate posted in my elevator. Is the elevator unsafe?

There are a few reasons why the Certificate may not be posted. Certificates may not be posted due to vandalism, the superintendent or property manager has failed to post it, the Certificate is in the mail or the elevator does not have a valid Certificate. To check the status of elevator Certificate, please call the elevator inspector at 867-767-9043 ext. 32034.

I don't want to take the elevators in my apartment building out of fear that I will get stuck as in the past. Should I be worried?

Inspection Services has strict rules for ensuring that elevators are safe for public use. We conduct inspections of elevators annually. Among other things, we ensure that the elevator maintenance contractors are registered and qualified and that the elevators are regularly maintained. If you have concerns about elevator safety in your building, please contact: Kevin Dunbar 867-767-9043 ext. 32034 or email: kevin_dunbar@gov.nt.ca.

What should I do if someone is trapped in an elevator?

The following procedure is only a guideline and may need to be adapted according to the situation.

  • Calm the trapped passengers.
  • Ask if there are any serious medical conditions that need immediate treatment.  If a medical condition does exist, call the fire department (xxx-2222) and explain the situation.
  • At the same time, call the elevator contractor or owner and ask for emergency service.
  • Ask for an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for the elevator service personnel or owner.
  • If you have called the fire department, let them know the elevator service ETA, so they can decide what to do.
  • IMPORTANT: Tell the trapped passengers not to pry open the elevator doors or try to get out of the elevator. Wait for help!
  • Keep talking to the passengers until trained personnel arrive to help.

Can I use my lift for Persons with Physical Disabilities lift to move freight? 

No. A lift for Persons with Physical Disabilities can only be used for lifting persons with physical disabilities and not for freight handling. 

Do I have to maintain my elevating device? 

All owners are responsible to maintain their elevating devices to ensure the safety of the public. Code and our legislation will govern who is allowed to maintain lifts.

What is involved when installing or maintaining an elevating device?

When installing elevating devices we suggest owners and their agents can avoid increasing their liability exposure (and unnecessary costs of corrections) that can occur through conflicts with safety codes and regulations adopted as law in the Northwest Territories. 

When discovered after the fact, formal installation/equipment design approval, inspection and tests needed to confirm that equipment is installed as designed and that safety devices, switches and speed control systems function as per code requirements can be both costly and highly inconvenient for everyone involved. 

Under the Electrical Protection Act & Regulations all elevating device installations are subject to acceptability criteria overseen by the enforcing authorities. The duty rests with the owners and contractors to adhere with such regulations and adopted safety codes that are applicable when these installations are carried out. 

A simple management tool is to employ reputable registered elevator contractors and include wording to the effect that all work and equipment must comply with applicable codes and regulations adopted in the Northwest Territories in job tender specifications. 

Installers, designers, architects and owners should be aware that these straight forward steps below are required and are subject to the adopted codes and regulations in the Northwest Territories. These steps include:

  1. The installer(s) must be registered as a qualified elevator worker.
  2. The installer must submit a complete package containing; site plans, specification details of the elevating device, which must include directional and safety circuits for approval, to:

    Electrical/Mechanical Safety
    Compliance and Licencing
    Department of Infrastructure
    5003-49th Street
    P.O. Box 1320
    YELLOWKNIFE, NT
    X1A 2L9

    The plans must be stamped by an engineer register by NAPEGG.
  3. Submit a permit application including plan review number and fees to the address given above.
  4. Arrange with this department for an initial inspection of the elevating device. Installer's adjuster must perform required test, witness by the elevator inspector.

What is involved when modernizing an elevator?

We at Department of Infrastructure sincerely hope that this effort at providing our clients with useful information concerning elevating device safety is taken in the light intended. That is to promote safety and be helpful to our clients in this regard. 

When Modernizing we suggest owners and their agents can avoid increasing their liability exposure (and unnecessary costs of corrections) that can occur through conflicts with safety codes adopted as law in the Northwest Territories. 

Modernizations almost always involve major or minor alterations to the equipment. Under the Electrical Protection Act & Regulations major alterations are subject to acceptability criteria overseen by the enforcing authorities. The duty rests with the owners and contractors to adhere with such regulations and adopted safety codes that are applicable when minor alterations are carried out. 

A simple management tool is to employ reputable elevator contractors and include wording to the effect that all work and equipment must comply with applicable codes and regulations adopted in the Northwest Territories.

One of the most common minor modernizations to passenger elevators is the refinishing interiors of elevator car cabs. Owners should be aware that this seemingly straight forward step can be subject to adopted codes and regulations. Some of the most commonly overlooked includes:

  • specified flame spread and smoke development characteristics
  • specified safety glass/plastic type for mirrors and enclosures
  • rules limiting elevator car weight increases before load bearing components and counterbalancing (when used) must be evaluated for their ability to handle increasing loads
  • rules governing light levels and fixtures protection
  • rules governing car top emergency exits and access to them
  • rules governing car cab ventilation

As an owner of an elevator(s), what are my responsibilities? 

In the interest of public safety, it is important to recognize elevating devices as unique and specialized equipment. Owners, as described by the Act under section (1), are responsible for having their elevating devices serviced and maintained regularly, and repaired if required. 

The frequency of maintenance can be determined by;

(a) the adopted code maintenance frequency requirements
(b) the manufacturers suggestive written maintenance frequency requirements (provide a copy) 
(c) the owner/maintenance contractor written mutual agreement approved by the enforcing authority
(d) as directed by the enforcing authority
(e) Where no frequency of maintenance meets the above, maintenance must be done when required and at least once a year. (An approved 5 year maintenance log shall be kept in the machine room with each required maintenance task signed and dated by the elevator mechanic who performed the work.)

Owners are responsible to have personnel trained in emergency evacuation of captive person or persons from an elevator. 

Owners/agents must insure on a continual basis that their elevator car communications is properly working. 

Only registered qualified electrical workers with a valid EL numbered registration card concerning elevating device installations, can install, maintain, or repair an elevating device. 

Should I add emergency service features to elevators? 

Owners may decide to add all or some special emergency service (formerly fire-fighters control) features to their elevators.

Numerous and complex safety code rules become applicable to the various elements of such systems simply through opting have it installed.

When discovered after the fact, formal installation/ equipment design approval, inspection and tests needed to confirm that equipment is installed as designed and that safety devices, switches and speed control systems function as per code requirements can be both costly and highly inconvenient for everyone involved.