Elevator Safety for Passengers

Elevators are very safe and reliable forms of transportation. However, people are injured every year when these machines malfunction, most frequently due to poor maintenance and heavy usage. Accidents in elevators and lobby areas can be reduced if passengers will follow these basic elevator safety rules:

Don't overload an elevator. Elevators should never be overloaded. The weight load of elevators are posted inside the cab. If overloading occurs, step out of the elevator into the lobby and wait for the next elevator.

Watch your step when getting on and off an elevator. Make sure the elevator car is level with the floor before stepping on or off. The most common elevator related injuries are caused by tripping when passing through an elevator door, or being hit when the doors are closing.

If you are riding with carry-ons, hold on to them firmly. Stand clear of the doors, and keep your clothes and other items away from openings and moving parts. Push and hold the 'Door Open' button if doors need to be held open, or ask someone to push the button for you.

Know your destination. Be aware of your environment anytime you are in or near an elevator. Know what directional buttons to push in the lobby and what floor buttons to push inside the elevator.

Make room for other lobby and elevator passengers. While waiting to enter an elevator, stand clear of elevator doors and move aside for exiting passengers.

When riding on an elevator, move away from the doors to allow people to exit away from you. Hold onto the handrail if one is available and pay attention to the floor indicators. If the doors do not open when the elevator stops, push the 'Door Open' button.

Don't try to leave a moving elevator. Serious accidents have happened when passengers attempted to get out of the elevator while it was moving slowly upward or downward.

Don't try to force elevator doors open. Attempting to force the elevator doors to open can cause injury. This is another common factor involving passenger accidents.

Emergencies. In an emergency, call for help. Every elevator is equipped with an emergency phone. If you find yourself stopped in between floors or stranded in an elevator, use the emergency phone to call for help. All elevator emergency phones are answered by designated personell, either building maintenance, elevator dispatch or a public safety person. These individuals will dispatch assistance to the scene. Follow only their instructions and never try to climb out of a stranded elevator based on your own decision.

Fires. In case of fire, do not use an elevator. A fire alarm will disconnect power from the elevator. Use the stairwell.

Don't interfere with opening or closing doors. If the doors are closing, let them. Never reach your hand out to stop a closing door. Wait for the next elevator.

If you are an employee working inside a building with elevators, then you need to be aware of fire and safety precautions before riding. If you notice an unsafe variable in your environment, report it to safety or maintenance. If there is construction or a heavy remodeling project going on, take an alternate route that is designated and safe to get to your location. Be aware that building owners and maintenance personell are responsible for annual or semi-annual testing to ensure that elevators are working safely. Office buildings and high-rise multi-tenant facilities management have to comply with fire safety and emergency response needs and regulations. Basic business security awareness and detailed emergency instructions should be made easily available and a part of regular safety meetings.