5 Things to Remember if You’re Stuck in an Elevator

by Lonnie Mackenzie | Dec 3, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many people cite being stuck in an elevator as a legitimate fear or phobia, to the extent that some can’t even enter an elevator and instead choose the stairs. While the odds of being stuck in an elevator are fairly low—there are 0.03 entrapments per month for a well-maintained elevator—it is still important to know what to do in the event that you do find yourself stuck. These five tips should put your mind at ease if you ever are stuck in an elevator.

Push the Door Open Button
While it may seem like given that the first thing you should do when trapped in an elevator is press the “door open” button, it’s easy to forget the simple things when adrenaline or fear kicks in. If the elevator jerked or jolted to a stop, you may feel out of sorts. If the elevator has stopped at or near a floor, the doors may engage and open if the door-open button is pushed. If this is the case, passengers should carefully exit the elevator car, paying close attention to whether the floor is level with the elevator car.

Remain Calm
If the door does not open, passengers must do their best not to panic. Of course, there will be a certain amount of fear when the elevator stops and you realize you’re trapped, but it’s important to keep your cool. Elevators are designed with a number of safety features, and you are safest inside the car. Remember that even though the elevator has stopped and you may feel like there is no air circulating within the elevator car, you will not run out of oxygen.

Press the Emergency Alarm Button and Call for Help
There should be an emergency alarm button on the control panel inside the elevator. When pressed, an alarm will ring. This alerts other building tenants and staff that someone has become stuck in the elevator and needs assistance. Additionally, in many elevator cars there are emergency telephones or intercom systems. Do your best to describe to the person on the line what happened. Include how many people are in the car, and how long you’ve been trapped. Details can help emergency personnel determine where you are and the best plan of action for rescue. Only elevator technicians and emergency personnel are allowed to rescue people from elevators. Attempts by others can be incredibly dangerous.

Use Your Senses
In the event that you’re stuck in an elevator that does not have an emergency button or phone, and your cell phone is not working or does not have service, rely on your senses to help you. Press your ear to the door and listen for voices; if you can hear people talking, it’s likely you’re close to a floor and shouting for help will alert someone to the situation. It may be tempting to bang on the elevator to make more noise. If this happens, it is important not to damage the elevator or injure yourself. You may also hear another elevator going by, and the occupants of that elevator may hear you shouting for help.

Do Not Attempt to Exit the Elevator Car
Particularly when you’re in a panic or faced with an emergency situation, it can be difficult just to sit and wait for help. That is, however, exactly what you should do. While it may be uncomfortable or hot inside the stopped elevator car, that is the best place to be if the car is stuck. Trying to leave the elevator without the assistance of emergency personnel is dangerous. While climbing out, the elevator car could begin to move, pinning a person between the floor and the elevator car.

It’s important to remember that even though an elevator stops or someone becomes stuck inside, that doesn’t mean the elevator is unsafe. Following these steps will ensure not only that you remain safe inside the elevator cab, but also that you’re freed as quickly as possible. While stuck in an elevator, the best thing to do is relax, take a deep breath, and make conversation with those stuck in the elevator with you. At very least, you’ll have a great story to tell at your next office party.