man slightly concerned that he is trapped in an elevator

What to Do If You’re Trapped in an Elevator

March 15, 2023

You have most likely seen a movie or two where someone gets trapped in an elevator. It’s a concern that has crossed everyone’s mind at least once. Could the brakes fail? Will the cord snap? What if I get trapped in the dark?

These disaster scenarios are extremely unlikely, especially if the elevator is well-made. If you get trapped in an elevator, it’s probably due to something as simple as a minor mechanical issue or a power outage. But that’s about as much disaster as you can expect. The elevator car is unlikely to fall, oxygen will not run out, and you won’t be left in the dark as emergency lights will kick on.

However, we understand that it can still be a frightening experience regardless of how well-made an elevator is. Here is what you need to know if you get trapped in an elevator.

Stay Calm

It might be easier said than done, but it’s important not to panic in situations like these. Remember that you are safe. While we’ve all seen disaster movies, in reality every elevator is regularly inspected to ensure your safety. In fact, many elevators have inspection sheets that are signed, dated, and posted inside of the car for you to see.

Elevators also have multiple fail-safes to prevent them from going into a free-fall, even during a major malfunction.

Press the Elevator’s Door Open Button

This seems silly, but it’s a simple step that could save you a lot of anxiety. Sometimes an elevator malfunction doesn’t affect the doors, so freeing yourself is as simple as pushing a button. It’s similar to if your internet browser freezes – sometimes you just need to hit a button and leave. It’s not always the solution, but it never hurts to check.

However, if the doors open and you’re stuck between floors, do not try to climb or crawl out! This is extremely dangerous as the elevator could start moving again, causing you harm if you’re sticking out halfway.

Use the Elevator’s Emergency Phone

Elevators are equipped with an emergency phone for exactly this reason, so pick it up and call us. We’ll immediately dispatch a strategically located technician to quickly and safely extract you from the stuck elevator. In the meantime, we can stay on the line to answer any questions and hopefully ease your concerns. Make sure to tell us how many people are in the elevator and if anyone has medical needs. Follow instructions, and know you’re in good hands.

Stay Put

It might seem pointless to say, but we mean it; don’t try to leave the elevator if it’s truly stuck. Instead, move to the back of the car and wait for the technician to arrive. This is the safest place to be in case they need to force the doors open or go through the emergency hatch. They’ll have the space needed to do what they need to while you’re safe and secure.

Leave It to the Professionals

Unless you are in a truly life-threatening situation, don’t try to force your way out of the elevator. Attempting to pry open the doors or escape through the roof hatch can be extremely dangerous if you’re not a trained elevator technician or a superhero.

It’s also advised that you don’t jump up and down to try and force the elevator to move. While it’s unlikely to send the elevator into a free-fall, it could cause further damage to the mechanisms and make it even harder for you to be rescued.

So don’t panic if you’re stuck in an elevator. Remember that you’re safe and help is on the way.