Elevators have been around for quite a long time, but they are still somewhat shrouded in mystery. Will it fall? Will I die? How can I be sure they are safe? Perhaps there is something scary about stepping into that small, enclosed space that freaks people out. I know, personally, I get a twinge when I step into one, but that doesn’t stop me from using them.
There are injuries, and sometimes deaths, related to using elevators. The truth behind these occurrences is that they are mostly preventable. Most injuries come from mistakes by the rider, not the elevator itself. Don’t let what happens in the movies scare you. Elevators, for the most part, are completely safe.
Use common sense when riding in an elevator to reduce your chances of getting hurt. Certain mechanical issues can occur with elevators that are the catalyst for most injuries. Simply keeping your eyes open will save you from the simple mistakes many people make.
When the door opens, look to see that the elevator is there and that it is level with the floor you are standing on. Occasionally the doors may open when the elevator is not there. More often, the elevator will not line up properly with the floor and many people trip when this happens because they are not paying attention.
Don’t mess with the elevator doors. Don’t try to open them with your fingers and stand back from them while the elevator is in motion. If there is a problem with the doors, call for help; do not try to open them yourself. Never use an elevator in the case of fire.
In the event you get stuck in an elevator, stay calm and get help. Some elevators have phones inside so you can phone for help. A cell phone can be used to call for help as well. If you don’t have a phone or there is not one in the elevator with you, there will be an alarm button. Push the alarm to signal there is a problem with the elevator.
Sit tight until help arrives. Don’t try to pry open the doors, or worse, climb up on top of the elevator through the hatch. If the doors are open, but the elevator is stuck between two floors do not attempt to climb up or down to get out. You stand a good chance of falling down the shaft if you don’t wait for emergency services to help you out.
In your attempt to remain calm, keep these things in mind. Elevators are made with multiple safety features to keep you alive and well. There are brakes and safety cables designed to keep a fault elevator from plunging to the ground. Elevators are also inspected on a periodic basis to ensure they are in good working order.
Whether you end up stuck for a few minutes or a few hours, remember that it’s up to you to remain unharmed. Stay calm, wait for help, and follow all instructions given to you in the event of an emergency.