We all pray it doesn’t happen to us, but it happens from time to time. It’s not a particularly common occurrence, but it can happen. The thing is, there are a lot of myths and silly stories in perpetual circulation regarding lifts and their safety but not many of them are true so if you ever are stuck in a lift then here are some tips and pieces of advice for you to ensure that you don’t inadvertently make the experience worse for yourself and others in the lift with you.
The first thing to remember is to stay calm. If you start panicking you’ll possibly hurt yourself or make yourself temporarily ill, and being in a lift trapped between floor, you’re not going to have a doctor by your side any time soon. You’re very safe in a lift; the myth that the car is held up by a one rope is entirely that: a myth. There are several cables which hold a lift up and they can each hold the lift by itself, so having several just means that the lift is completely safe. Breathe deeply and remain calm. If you’re alone, just sit down on the floor for a minute if you need to. It’s okay, you’ll be fine doing that. When you’re calm you can then start to act. If you’re in the lift with others, you all need to keep each other calm so not to create mass panic.
If it’s dark in the lift, say if the lights have gone out, find a light source. You can use your mobile phone to find the buttons and then try to save the battery. Again if there are multiple people in the lift you can take it in turns to use your phones to light up the car. Press the call button first of all to check if the person manning it knows that you’re stuck. If there’s no reply, simply press the open door button a few times. It may just be a case of the car being stuck in that way rather than being stuck between two floors. If nobody answers the call button and the open door button doesn’t work, wait a few minutes then if you still have no joy the best bet is to call 999.
While you’re waiting, or if in fact you have no signal to call, try shouting for help. Make sure you don’t panic yourself though. You could try banging your shoe against the doors to make a metallic sounding noise or use your house keys to tap against the doors. Most people walking past will be intrigued and will usually stop to investigate. If nobody does, you will simply have to wait it out. The building maintenance will soon know there’s a problem when people start complaining the lift isn’t arriving when the call it, and if you managed to call the emergency services they will soon be with you. Occupy yourself with thoughts of what to make for diner, or root around in your bag for a book or magazine you might have. The most important thing to do is to not panic and keep telling yourself that you are extremely safe in there and no matter how long you are stuck the lift will not fall.
Make sure that once you are rescued, you inform the fire brigade as well as the building manager or whoever is in charge of the lift maintenance that you pressed the call button and nothing happened, or nobody replied to you. It may have been that the button isn’t working or needs servicing. The fire brigade will want to know what happened for their reports and the building manager should make sure that the lifts are serviced to ensure it doesn’t happen again.