What to Do If an Elevator Gets Stuck
It’s the worst nightmare of many . . . getting stuck in an elevator. While it’s not nearly as common as it appears in movies and television series, it is possible to get stuck in an elevator. What should you do if you find yourself in this predicament? It’s really rather simple.
How to Make It Through a Stuck Elevator Incident
In the movies, they often show people prying open the doors or climbing out the top of the elevator. This is actually a terrible idea and you should avoid trying to escape the lift. Instead, remain calm and use the call button that every elevator has. This will direct you to someone who can fix the problem.
Once you have alerted the people in charge, settle in and get comfortable. It can take some time before you’re able to get out, but there’s no danger in the meantime. The lift is supported by multiple cables and backup systems. It has brakes and a backup brake system, to ensure that you will remain secure until someone comes to get you out.
The main issue if you’re stuck in a lift is that you may get a little warm. Of course, if you’re claustrophobic or if there are a lot of people in the elevator, it can also become rather uncomfortable. The best thing you can do is take deep breaths and try to relax. Remember, the more agitated you are, the harder it will be to wait. You can also use this time to help others in the elevator relax.
There is no danger of suffocation in the lift, even though you may feel the heat rising from so many bodies in a small space. There is enough circulation that you should be perfectly fine and it’s important to remember this and to stay calm.
From the Outside
If you are outside of the lift, but it’s your building, you will need to call someone in as soon as possible, whether or not there are people inside. You need the lift to operate, since it is a big part of the movement system within the building. Every minute the elevator is not moving is another minute wasted as people are forced to use the stairs.
Once you know the lift is not moving, or will not open the doors, you should block access. This will let people know the elevator is off limits for the moment. This can be done with caution tape at each door or a simple out of order sign. The next step is to call in the experts.
You should have an emergency plan already set up to follow, long before you actually need it. If you have an emergency like the elevator getting stuck, then you need immediate access to help. Your lift installer should have an emergency number where they will respond day or night and will come to your location rapidly. If they can’t come immediately, the fire brigade may be able to help more rapidly. However, you should have the plan in place ahead of time so you don’t need to call in emergency services. You’ll already have a maintenance and repair crew on the way as soon as you know about the lift issue.
If your lift installer doesn’t offer this particular option, you should choose another company. It’s never a good idea to end up with an emergency and nowhere to turn to. The lift company is the best equipped to fix the issue and get everything moving again.
Common Lift Problems
What would cause a lift to stop working with passengers aboard? There are any number of potential causes, but some are more likely than others. These include:
Power failure. The most common reason for an elevator to stop running is the electricity cutting out. This may be due to a building-wide outage or it could be a short circuit that causes power to be cut directly to the lift while the rest of the building continues without issue. Most often, the problem is a short circuit, which could be preventable.
Sabotage/accidents. In some cases, humans wreaking havoc is the main issue. This can occur by accident or it could be deliberate. Spilling a drink on a control panel, accidentally cutting a wire or turning off the electricity, or breaking buttons can all have adverse effects on how the lift works. If the damage is bad enough, it will simply stop or become unusable.
Engine failure. If the motor that keeps the elevator running up and down breaks down for whatever reason, the lift will also stop working. The engine may simply wear out or parts of it could break or wear down. This is a good reason to check on it regularly and to replace any parts that require replacement.
Oil contamination. Tiny bits of metal can be released over time if the motor is not regularly inspected. This can cause issues inside the motor and eventually cause it to stop working altogether. Any other type of contamination in the oil can also cause issues and will ruin your motor. Just like a car, the oil needs to be clean.
Operating system failure. If the operating system on the lift stops working, this can result in problems, such as the door not opening when the lift reaches the correct floor, or it could even make it impossible to get to the right floor. Either way, you end up stuck inside and unable to open the doors.
In 99% of cases, the issue has been preventable and could have been stopped with the right maintenance. That’s why having experts check on your elevator is so very necessary.
The Importance of Regular Maintenance
If you have a lift, you should certainly make sure you have regular check-ups and maintenance checks done on it. A perfectly working lift may end up having a serious problem that could result in a breakdown sooner, rather than later.
When maintenance is poorly done or is not done as often as it should be, lifts tend to break down. This type of emergency can result in extra costs as you try to get it fixed last minute and manage the people who were trapped inside the elevator. There may be lawsuits in some cases, depending on the situation and it all could have been prevented by having someone come in and take a look at the lift every few months.
Regular inspections are definitely a part of looking after your lifts. If you want to avoid issues or having anyone get hurt, you must ensure that everything is checked on regularly. It’s also a good idea to document each and every inspection, so you can show the paperwork if anything does happen.
While lift malfunctions do occur, most of them won’t trap you. They usually are fairly minor things such as the lift stopping a little too abruptly or buttons being harder to push. Even small problems should be handled quickly, though. They are a sign that the system needs to be inspected and fixed. After all, if one part of the lift is not working, then it is possible that you need to look at other areas before someone does get stuck in the lift.
With the right maintenance and support, you shouldn’t have to deal with an elevator trapping anyone. However, should it occur, you do need to have a plan in place.
Finding the Right Lift Company
There are a number of companies available to install as well as inspect lifts. However, you want one that is going to be very responsive and trustworthy. They should also be fair in their pricing and respond quickly to emergencies. This is the sort of company you want to handle your lifts.
Finding that company can be a bit more difficult than determining what you want from them. You can always ask others about their experiences, but it usually comes down to talking to companies you’ve looked up online.
Get a quote for various services from each company so you can compare them. From there, you can discuss your actual needs and see if they are able to fulfil the duties you require. This may include installing a lift in the first place, or you may just need them to handle the maintenance and upkeep of an existing lift. Either way, be sure they’re up for it and test the company out a few times before you set up a long term relationship.
After all, you want to be sure that things are going to work out and that you are happy with the lift maintenance company.
Are you looking for a lift installer or someone to handle the maintenance on your lift? Contact Euro Lifts today to get a quote.