In modern day construction, almost every Residential Apartment Complex that is higher than 2 floors from the ground, has atleast one Passenger Elevator.
To ensure that Elevator related injuries or mishaps don’t happen, Residents of Apartment Complexes can follow some best practices for Elevator Usage. It is extremely important to educate small children about elevator usage, as many a times they may go out to play unsupervised.
Safe Elevator Usage
1. When the Elevator door is closing, stand clear of them. While it is tempting to stop the door manually to let someone get inside, avoid this. Elevator doors have photoelectric sensors, so they stop the door closing whenever an object gets between. But sensors aren’t always reliable and are prone to malfunction. Also, in some cases the sensors are only located near the center of the elevator door , so using a leg to stop an elevator could be a bad idea.
2. Due to power failure or other reasons, if the elevator stops in between floors, DO NOT exit the elevator. When the elevator door opens in between floors, the elevator shaft is exposed. So a climb out could make the passenger accidentally fall down the elevator shaft. Call for help to make the Elevator level with the floor, then exit.
3. In case of a Fire, do not use the Elevator, use the Fire Drill.
4. Even if you live in a highrise Apartment Building and always take the Elevator, take the Staircases on the way down once in a while. This can help detect problems (broken railings, slippery steps etc.), and you could catch up on the beautiful main door decorations of your neighbors :).
What to do if there is a power failure and you are trapped in the Elevator
1. Press the Door Open Button.
2. If the doors do not open, do not panic, you are safe. This is a safety measure of the Elevator when power failure occurs – brakes are automatically applied, including those on the Doors.
3. Stay calm. Elevators are not airtight, and there is enough air in the Elevator as well as the shaftway.
4. Use the Alarm Button, Help Button, or Emergency Phone connection inside. Clearly convey which Block and Elevator you are inside, to the other party.
5. If the Emergency Phone does not work, don’t panic. Some phones are designed only to receive calls. So the maintenance personnel of your Housing Society can call you when they arrive at the Building.
6. After you have done everything to communicate that you are trapped, the best course of action is to relax and wait. Think of it like an annoying Traffic Jam.
7. Once the doors do open, double check that the elevator is level with the floor, then exit.
Also check out the Expert Article “Elevator Safety Systems in Residential Apartments” and circulate it to the Management Committee of your Housing society.