What to do if You’re Trapped in an Elevator

Stuck In An Elevator

Being trapped in an elevator doesn’t need to be a terrifying or life-threatening experience, and there are a number of things that you can do to get control of the situation.  However, it’s important to separate fact from fiction in terms of what your options are.  Here are some things to consider that may help you to get out as quickly and safely as possible.

Preventive Steps

Always size-up the condition of the elevator before getting in and letting the doors close.  If it looks poorly-maintained or it’s too crowded, consider taking another cab instead.  The majority of elevator problems occur when they are too-heavy or too-worn to lift properly.  Avoiding these situations when possible can prevent you from getting trapped in the first place.

Control Panel

If you do get stuck, the first thing to do is to press the call button or pick up the phone in the control panel.  Despite the popular myth that these items are merely for decoration, the vast majority of them will work because elevators are inspected on a regular basis.  The question is whether or not someone will be answering your call for help on the other end.  If that doesn’t work, the next thing is to either pull the stop button, which should activate an alarm, or press the alarm button.  Hopefully someone on an nearby floor will hear you and seek help.

Don’t Count on the Hatch

A lot of elevator escape scenes we see in moves or on TV involve opening up the rooftop escape hatch and climbing out of the cab.  Once on top of the cab, people usually find themselves in a lit shaft that happens to have a ladder along one of the sides that they can climb to reach the next floor.  In reality, most elevator shafts are dark and difficult to maneuver in, and they don’t always have ladders.  The air can be putrid or full of high concentrations of harmful vapors, and there are also a lot of cables and hazardous obstructions.

There’s also a good chance that the hatch will be locked from the outside.  While they are designed to be opened by rescuers, they are also designed to protect the occupants inside during normal operation as well.  One of the main reasons that hatches are locked is because it protects occupants from heat and smoke if there’s a fire.

Resist Prying Open Doors

While most doors can be pried open in an emergency, this is not always the best course of action to take.  There’s no guarantee that the elevator will be situated at a point where you can access the floors above or below.  There’s also the real possibility that the elevator will start to unexpectedly shift or start working again as you or someone else is reaching or climbing out of the cab.  Use your best judgment as you determine risk vs reward when considering this option.

Unless you’re trapped in a fire, collapse or in an abandoned building, there’s a good chance that someone will know that the elevator is stuck.  Consequently, it’s best to be patient, remain calm and hope for the best for a reasonable amount of time.  Only after it seems like it’s taking too long for help to arrive should you start resorting to prying the door open or breaching the hatch.

Hopefully you’ll never find yourself trapped in an elevator.  However, remembering these tips can make the experience easier to contend with and prevent you from causing bigger problems as you await rescue.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Jason P just claimed a Free FireStriker
Paul just bought a V1-Pro Tactical Flashlight
Jenny just claimed a Free FireStriker
Ken just claimed a Free FireStriker
Sally just claimed a Free FireStriker
Paul just claimed a Free FireStriker
Chris just bought an Ultimate Bug Out Bag
Mike just bought a V1-Pro Tactical Flashlight