Hints and Tips for Elevator UsersDoug Guderian
We get a lot of service calls on elevators where the elevator user could have been better served if they had a bit more knowledge about the best ways to use an elevator. The sections below try to convey some of this knowledge from an elevator insider to the elevator riders:
Hints for Elevator Use
- Push buttons gently but firmly with your finger. Do not kick, pound, or use any type of device to press the button. These actions can easily break the button and are misuse of the equipment. The face of the button may be metal, but the internal components may not be and are fragile. Pressing the button multiple times will not make the elevator come sooner, it just adds extra wear to the equipment.
- Do not jump up and down or wrestle in the elevator. These actions can engage the safety device and then you’ll be stuck in the elevator. An elevator is a machine and can’t distinguish between a malfunctioning component and an exuberant passenger.
- Do not pull the door shut. If the doors on the elevator take longer than you think, try pushing the door close button. Elevator doors are on an automatic timer that is set with both the elderly and people with special needs in mind; to the able bodied a few seconds may feel like a few minutes, but that is not the case for everyone.
- Do not pull the doors open. If you believe that you are stuck; try the door open button, the button for the floor that you were going to, or the floor at which you entered the elevator. If that doesn’t work, use the phone and call for help. Attempting to open the doors on your own is extremely dangerous; you or somebody in the elevator with you could be seriously injured or even killed
- Before entering or exiting an elevator look at the floor and check that the elevator is level with the floor. A slight difference in the heights could cause you to stumble if you don’t notice it. Alert the building personnel to any variations in the height.
If you think your elevator isn’t working:
- Check to see if anyone is trapped and have the building personnel call the elevator company immediately if there is.
- Make sure that the elevator isn’t on independent service, or hasn’t been turned off, or the stop switch (if equipped) hasn’t been pushed.
- Check the door track and the grooves in the track for obstructions. Small pieces of trash, dirt, or salt can cause the doors to malfunction.
- Verify that there is full power in the building; an elevator is often more sensitive to power fluctuations than most appliances are.
- Obtain as much information about any elevator problems as you can. Report these things to the building personnel so that they can contact the elevator service company. Things to ask are:
- Did you press the floor/hall call button?
- Was the elevator level with the floor?
- Did you hear anything unusual?
- What floor is the elevator currently at?
- Are the doors open or closed?
- Was the elevator working properly before the problem?
If there is a fire in your building
- Do not use the elevator or allow anyone else to use it, everybody has to use the stairs.
- Keep everybody calm.
- Ask able bodied persons to assist any special needs or elderly tenants with the stairs, and carefully carry them if needed.