What to Do If You Get Stuck in an Elevator
Highlighting again the potential danger of elevators, a 53-year-old man in Sofia, Bulgaria died in an elevator accident this month.
When the residential elevator the victim was riding stopped between floors, the man attempted to open the doors. During the attempt, the man fell out of the elevator and down the shaft to his death. Another passenger in the elevator escaped unscathed.
Sadly, the man’s death follows two more elevator accidents in Sofia. A woman died in a elevator crash in August. In June, another woman was injured in an elevator crash. She was riding with her grandchild, who was luckily uninjured.
Elevators are complex machines and they may get stuck from time to time. Though it can be unsettling, there’s no reason to panic. If you’re stuck in an elevator, here are a few simple rules to follow.
1. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Do not try to open the doors. You could fall down the shaft or get crushed when the elevator starts moving again. Begin pressing the elevators buttons one by one. The elevator may have gotten mixed signals. Pressing the buttons may clear up the crossed wires and get the elevator moving again.
2. If pressing the buttons fails, look for the call button or handset if you are in a commercial building. Every elevator is the United States is equipped with this system. The emergency system is usually red and should be easy to spot. Pressing the button will connect you with the building’s security or maintenance staff. They’ll come to your aid and should get you out in a reasonable amount of time.
3. If the emergency system fails and you have cell service, use your phone to call 911. Emergency services will come and release you. Stay calm, as it may take up to 30 minutes for someone to get you out.
Don’t forget that elevators, while commonplace, are still intricate, heavy machinery.
For more information, view this video from the “What Happens If …” series from “The Today Show.”