Stuck in an elevator? 3 things you must know

People stuck in an elevator

Getting stuck in an elevator is highly unpleasant. But it’s important not to panic or do anything rash. Here’s what you need to know if you are ever trapped in an elevator.

  1. Take a deep breath. Getting trapped in an elevator is alarming, but in most cases the door will open in a few minutes. It is important not to panic. Take some long, deep breaths to calm the nervous system.
     
  2. Press the call button. Most elevators in BC have an emergency phone and bell to use in case of emergency. If no one answers your call and you have a cell phone, try to call 911. If you do not have a cell phone or cell phone service and nobody comes to your aid, you can yell so that others in the building hear you. However, never bang or kick the doors to make noise – you can damage the elevator which can make it harder for maintenance personnel to get you out.
     
  3. Do not try to escape on your own. A stuck elevator could start moving again at any time, so trying to exit the elevator on your own could lead to serious injury or even death. Never try to escape through the hatches in the ceiling. Also, never try to force open doors. If damage is done to the elevator, it can make it harder for the maintenance personnel to get you out. Staying inside the car is the safest place to be. It is equipped with ventilation, and many safety systems to keep you safe inside.

Elevator owners have certain responsibilities under the Safety Standards Act, including having a maintenance program in place. When any unsafe or potentially unsafe condition exists, an owner must close the elevating device and prevent it from carrying passengers until a provincial safety officer inspects and permits the elevating device to resume operation. Owners are also legally responsible for reporting all incidents to Technical Safety BC.

If you have experienced an unsafe elevator, you can also report it to us directly via our website or by phone at 1-866-566-7233 (select menu option #1 for our incident line). 

Learn more about what building owners responsibilities are around elevators, or how the Internet of Things and sensor technology may be able to help better detect elevator issues before they happen.

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