Elevators can be dangerous if used in an improper manner or if vandals damage the safety systems such as the door interlocks so they can hide drugs in the lift shaft. Engineers train for years before they maintain an elevator.

Elevator safety tips

When waiting for elevators

  • Know your destination.
  • Push the elevator call button once for the direction you want to go in.
  • Look and listen for the signal announcing your car’s arrival.
  • Be aware of health conditions that could contribute to falls or accidents.
  • Stand clear of the elevator doors and stand aside for exiting passengers.
  • If the arriving car is full, wait for the next car.
  • Don’t attempt to maneuver in or stop closing doors, wait for the next car.
  • In the event of a fire or other situation that could lead to a disruption in electrical services, take the stairs.

When boarding elevators

  • Watch your step – the elevator car may not be perfectly level with the floor.
  • Stand clear of the doors – keep clothes and carry-ons away from the opening.
  • Hold children and pets firmly.
  • Passengers nearest to the doors should move first when the car arrives.
  • Push and hold the DOOR OPEN button if doors need to be held open, or ask someone to push the button for you.
  • Never try to stop a closing door, wait for the next car.
  • Once on board, quickly press the button for your floor and move to the back of the car to make room for other passengers.

When riding elevators

  • Hold the handrail, if available.
  • Stand next to the elevator wall, if available.
  • Pay attention to the floor indications.
  • If the doors do not open when the elevator stops, push the DOOR OPEN button.

When exiting elevators

  • Exit immediately at your floor. Do not wait for others behind you..
  • Do not push the people in front of you when exiting.
  • Watch your step – the elevator car may not be perfectly level with the floor.

In the event of an elevator emergency

  • If the elevator should ever stop between floors, do not panic. There is plenty of air in the elevator.
  • Never climb out of a stalled elevator.
  • Use the ALARM or HELP button, the telephone or the intercom to call for assistance.
  • Above all, wait for qualified help to arrive and never try to leave an elevator that has not stopped normally.
  • Emergency lighting will come on in the event of a power failure.

What to do if you are stalled in an elevator

  • Push the "Door Open" button. If you are near the landing the door will open. You can slowly and carefully step out of the elevator. Be sure to watch your step as the elevator floor may, or may not, level with the landing.
  • Remain calm. If the door does not open, you are still safe. Do not try to exit the elevator. Wait for trained emergency personnel to arrive. Even if the air temperature feels warm, there is plenty of air circulating in the elevator and its hoist-way.
  • Press the Alarm or Help button, and use any available communication systems. There will be a "PHONE" or "HELP" button this will place a call to a party that is trained to take action (i.e. elevator company, alarm company, etc.). It will give the exact location of the building and elevator you are in. Trained emergency personnel will answer the call for service. Some elevators have a two-way speaker system or telephone that will allow for communication between you and the building or rescue personnel.
  • Relax, and do not try to leave the elevator car by yourself, it is extremely dangerous. Always wait for trained emergency personnel. Your best course of action is to relax, get comfortable.


London's Burning (ITV 1991) - Lift surfing episode

London's Burning (ITV 1991) - Lift surfing episode

Video about elevator surfing in London, UK

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