Fixing an elevator is just like any other appliance repair, right? If you answered yes, and you have or are considering having an elevator installed, read on. Ad if you answered no, you may have learned some of this the hard way. Making sure an elevator is in working order or gets repaired as fast as possible can make a huge difference to people who depend on them. Elevators are vital links for many to the outside world making the choice of who services it an important one.

Before you install that elevator, think about who will service it. If you already have one, how do you know the service contractor can meet the highest standards? And if you’re already searching for a new company, read on. Here are the critical items any elevator service company must be able to handle.

First, start with the basics: does the mechanic who will be servicing your elevator know the equipment—has he or she been trained on it? Does the company provide ongoing training? The answer to this latter question gives a sense of how seriously the company takes training its mechanics.

Second, how deep is their bench of mechanics in your area? The answer can indicate how fast they can come to your rescue. A shallow bench means you could be left waiting.

Do they offer service around the clock? Breakdowns don’t always occur during the day, and they need to be able to respond 24/7.

What about parts—does the company keep them on hand? If not that can mean waiting for them to be shipped across the country. That means more stair climbing, more people marooned on top floors, and more tenants unhappy with their landlords.

Finally, what sort of insurance do they have? Coverage needs to be complete enough to free you from liability if there is an accident due to negligence on their part.

Choose your maintenance provider carefully—a lot of people will be riding on it.