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What to do when stuck in a Lift?

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This is a Question all Passengers have and the Elevators are moving about a Billion People everyday to their homes and back. Many People do get stuck in the lift for various reasons but mainly due to Power Outage or Lift break down.

Power outages are manageable by using backup Power Generators or by using Auto Rescue devices in the Elevator which use a small battery source to move the Elevator to the nearest floor.

Breakdowns are preventable but they are happening and in this post we are discussing what we are to do when stuck in an elevator.

I am listing below the points which I think any one stuck in the elevator may do as per their situation

  1. Check if the Elevator has stopped – you will understand this as you will not feel any motion or you will stop abruptly while in motion
  2. Do not Panic. Most of the Elevator is a safe place
  3. You will not run out of Air to breathe even if the Fan is not working
  4. Press the Alarm button – Alarms are most of the time connected to separate battery and will ring even in case of Power Failure
  5. If you have an intercom in the Lift, use the intercom
  6. Press the Door Open Button to check if the door is Opening
  7. If there is CCtv Camera, Wave to the CCtv to grab attention of the person monitoring the CCTv
  8. Use your Mobile phone for reaching out to someone for help. Many a times there is no network in the Elevator.

If you are able to contact someone to help you they must follow the procedure to evacuate the passengers

  • Switch off the main power to the Elevator in the Machine room or where ever the main power switch is located.
  • Switch off the Backup Power Switch including the generator or the Auto Rescue Device this will ensure that the equipment will not receive any power during the evacuation process.
  • Use the emergency door key to open the door to check if the lift is near a floor Level
  • If the lift is near the floor level then the people can alight the lift simply and thereafter close the door once all the passengers are safely evacuated.
  • If the lift is not near the floor level or it is between two floor such that no one can alight or it is unsafe to alight, it is recommended to keep the door open using some obstruction for the door not to close. This will help with air ventilation in the lift cabin and also comfort the passengers from feeling trapped.
  • When the passengers cannot be evacuated, it is best to wait for the Lift Technician to bring the lift safely to the nearest floor.
  • Last and the Final resort would be to call Fire Department for Rescue. Please note that fire department will generally use brute force to get into the lift shaft and evacuate the passenger and there have been instances where this has lead to damage to doors and some other components of the elevator.

Ask your Elevator Maintenance Company to Stick Emergency Numbers, educate the owners and users about the lift and also have drills and demonstration once in a while to show how safe evacuation is to be done. Please ask them to have the directions posted in the elevator stating clearly “the dos and the don’ts when stuck in an elevator”

Please note that this procedure has to be followed only during normal breakdowns and not during emergencies like fire or earthquake and in that situation it is best to get out of the lift at the earliest and also call for the fire department immediately as every second counts.

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