Stuck in an Elevator during a Power Outage
We've all ridden in an elevator. Anyone who has travelled in an elevator has thought about the possibility of getting stuck in an elevator. If you are in an elevator during a power outage, there's a chance the elevator could stop working, leaving you stuck inside. Here are some things to know about and do if it happens to you:
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- Stay calm. It's important to remain calm so you can think clearly. Take some deep breaths. If it's dark, take out your cell phone to illuminate the inside the elevator. Be careful and judicious in using a cell phone for light. You want to make sure to conserve your cell phone battery.
- As soon as you are calm, alert people to your predicament. Use the elevator's emergency telephone to call for help. You can also press the call button to contact an elevator technician. This should alert maintenance personnel to the situation with the elevator. If there is no answer from the call button, see if you have reception with your cell phone and call 911. If this does not work, try pressing the alarm button a few times. Also try to get the attention of any people outside of the elevator by banging on the elevator and letting people know you are stuck inside.
- Even after doing all the steps above, you will probably have wait at least a few minutes to get help or for the elevator to start up again. If you are in the elevator with a few people, make conversation and acknowledge the situation. It will make things a little less stressful. If you are alone, try playing games if you have your cell phone.
Not all elevators are created equal. Some residential and commercial elevators offer advantages that can be valuable during a power outage:
- A pneumatic (vacuum) elevator can be safely lowered during a power outage.
- Some traditional elevators, such as the Freedom Hydro, have a battery-powered emergency lowering system.
Again, stay calm. The thing to remember is power outages are not uncommon. Rescue crews and technicians know what to do when a power outage shuts down an elevator.