Common Misconceptions About Elevators
Both property managers and casual elevator riders alike have some incorrect ideas about elevators, how they work and when they malfunction. The good news is, most of these truths about elevators will surprise you for the better.
There are many common elevator myths and misconceptions because most people are not familiar with the ins and outs of how an elevator works, and many don’t need to be. However, if there are elevators on your property, you are responsible and liable for them. Because of this, it is important that you have a basic knowledge, should something go wrong. Even if you are not a property manager or don’t have an elevator to look after: ANYONE can get stuck in an elevator, and there are misconceptions regarding this subject that are all too common and can actually be very dangerous. Here are a few myths that property managers and elevator riders in general should be aware of.
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Myth #1: Elevators are held up by only one cable that can break, leaving passengers in a free falling car.
This one should allow everyone to breathe a collective sigh of relief. If you’re a property manager, you probably already know about this and are grateful, however, many of the people riding your elevators may not be aware of this. Since many people are afraid of elevators, hopefully this puts the mind at ease a bit. In reality, elevators are supported by multiple steel cables. Each cable alone can support a fully loaded car.
Myth #2: The elevator doors will open even if the elevator car is not there.
The truth is that elevators are designed so that the car controls the opening of the doors. If the car is not at the landing, it will not trigger the doors to open. This is another fact that should put elevator riders’ minds at ease. While in particular instances, such as for maintenance reasons, the elevator doors may be opened when a cab is not present, the elevator passenger should always expect a cab to meet them when the elevator doors open. It is designed this way for safety reasons.
Myth #3: If an elevator is stuck between floors you are in danger of falling and should try to get out.
In actuality, this is the worst thing someone can do, and it should never be attempted. Attempting to leave the car on your own could result in serious injury or death. Elevator cars are designed to be “safe rooms,” allowing one to remain in a safe and stable condition even in the event of a disaster or other inconvenient event, such as an elevator entrapment. Anyone who becomes entrapped should always stay in the car, remain calm, use the emergency phone to call for help and wait until someone arrives. As a property manager, you should make sure that those riding in your elevators are aware of this as an elevator safety best practice.
In the US, there are 900,000 elevators, each serving an average of 20,000 people a year, collectively making 18 billion passenger trips per year. An elevator malfunctioning is simply a numbers game. It is because of this that they are designed for safety and should be regularly tested by the property manager along with regular maintenance to ensure they are in proper working condition and safe for passengers.
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