Do’s and don’ts of being stuck in an elevator
Getting stuck in an elevator is a major fear for many people, with small spaces causing anxiety. Though this is very rare, it’s not completely out of the question to get stuck in a lift so if you find yourself in these situations it’s useful to know exactly what to do.
Lifts can be found everywhere, including your office, local shopping centre, hospitals and hotels, they’re almost impossible to avoid, and you shouldn’t. Lifts are useful for so many reasons such as transporting stock, reducing time spent walking up stairs and giving access to individuals with mobility aids.
For a detailed overview of lift etiquette and safety tips, carry on reading for all you need to know.
- Raise the alarm – the emergency button is there for a reason, so if you find yourself stuck in a lift you should raise the alarm. Once you press the alarm, you will be connected to an emergency operator who is on hand 24/7 to help anyone who is stuck in the lift.
- Call for help – if the lift doors are slightly open and you can see some light, this means you are near a floor. Try shouting for help or use your phone to tell someone where you are, so they can inform a professional.
- Stay calm – when you get stuck in any kind of small space it can be nerve-wracking, especially if you have a phobia. However, it’s important that you try to stay as calm as possible so you can get help as quickly as you can. You will need to talk to the operator clearly, so take a few deep breaths, calm yourself down and await assistance.
- Trust the professionals – operators are trained to help in these situations, so trust what they’re advising you to do or not do. They will have procedures in place to remove you safely, so as long as you listen to their instructions you should be out in no time.
- Move to the rear of the lift – when help arrives they may need to prise open the doors using professional tools. With this in mind, it’s best to stay towards the rear of the lift, out of their way so they can do this safely without you getting hurt.
- Try to force the doors open – although you may feel panicked, forcing the doors open can be very dangerous. Even if the doors are slightly open do not attempt to prise them open fully, as this will put you at risk if the elevator starts moving again.
- Jump up and down – if the lift has stopped in the middle of it’s journey it’s important to stay still. Jumping up and down to kickstart the lift, in fact, could cause it to suddenly drop, causing you serious injuries if the lift falls.
Understanding a fear of elevators
Riding an elevator carries a very small risk, however despite this, lifts can trigger common phobias for claustrophobia and agoraphobia – meaning it’s not the lift itself that’s the fear, but the feeling it creates for the passenger. Claustrophobia is a fear of enclosed spaces, while agoraphobia is a fear of being trapped in a small space with no means of escape – so it’s easy to see how elevators can trigger these phobias.
Most phobias can be linked to one distinct event that caused fright, perhaps you were once stuck in a lift when you were younger and since then, the experience has stuck with you. For many people, knowing the safety rules and becoming familiar with elevator operation can help to reduce any fear. And although it may seem frightening, increasing your elevator rides can help to put you at ease, whereas avoiding them completely will only make them seem more daunting. For more complicated phobias, professional therapy and cognitive treatments can help too.
The importance of a lift service
Like all equipment, your lift also needs to be serviced to ensure its safe and functional for everyone to use. Remember, prevention is cheaper than a complete repair so having things looked over by regularly could save you money in the long run. Furthermore, in business, having a reliable lift is essential. In a large office block for example, moving around the building can be made a lot easier, and done a lot quicker, using a lift. For your customers, they may get a bad impression of your business if your lift is constantly out of use or regularly breaks down. If a lift or stairlift is located in your home, this could be the only means you have of moving between floors safely, so it’s more important than ever to keep on top of servicing.
The frequency of a service depends on many factors such as the type of lift you have, how many floors it serves and its main use. During a service, the engineer will check the safety features on the lift as well as lubricate and adjust the components as necessary. For a professional service, it’s best to go with the same team who installed your lift, however there are a range of professional lift maintenance companies for you to choose from.
How to reduce the chances of getting stuck in a lift
Most of the time you can’t predict when you’re going to get stuck in an elevator, however there are some useful things you can look out and do to reduce your chances of getting stuck.
- Don’t use an elevator in a fire – in any kind of emergency situation, especially a fire, you should never use the lift as your means of escape. Although you may assume that this is the safest and quickest option, in fact, if a fire disturbs the buildings electrics that you could become trapped. You should always follow the escape plan that’s been put in place, using the stairs or fire exits to get out of the building.
- Avoid overcrowded lifts – all lifts have a weight limit, and while it’s unlikely that the lift will exceed this capacity, it can happen. When this does happen, the lift may not be able to handle the weight, and stop halfway through the journey. You can find information about its maximum weight capacity in the inside of the lift, so if you feel unsure take a look and make your decision accordingly – waiting for a couple of extra minutes for the next lift could be the difference between getting stuck or not.
Tips for riding elevators safely
- Push each button once
- Don’t try and stop the elevator doors from closing using your hands, feet, walking stick or anything else
- Stand clear of the doors so your clothing, hair or bags don’t get caught in the doors
- Wait for passengers to exit the lift before you get in
Euro Lifts: Professional lift maintenance and installations
Getting stuck in a lift is not ideal, but with regular maintenance and a high-quality installation your lift should stay reliable for years to come. Based in South West England, Euro Lifts is the largest independent lift company in the area, helping a wide range of clients every day both domestic and commercial. From lift repair to completely new installations, improve your home or workplace today, and find out how we can help.