Elevator Safety

Elevator Emergency


Elevators account for 150 deaths and 18,000 injuries per year. By following the seal survival techniques you can prevent these injuries.

Situational Awareness

If you know the basic operation and technological advancements of elevators you are more prepared in the event of an emergency. Many serious injuries and deaths caused by elevators are due to door malfunctions. Some people have died from stepping into an elevator when the door opened without a car there and fell down the shaft because they weren’t being aware. It is very important to know how to properly ride elevators and what to do if an elevator becomes stalled.


Elevator Entrapment

On average, an elevator rescue takes three hours. Those who experience entrapment will offer suffer extreme panic. Sometimes this panic can bring a heart attack. If trapped in an elevator you should try to keep yourself and those around you calm, to prevent extreme panic. If the elevator stops between floors, there is plenty of air in the elevator shaft there is no need to panic.


  1. Push the door open button. If the car is at the landing, the door will open. Before exiting, make sure there is no movement in the car.
  2. If the door does not open, do not climb out of the elevators especially if the car is between floors.
  3. Never try to exit a stalled elevator car. When the elevator starts to move again, this can lead to death or serious injury.
  4. Use the alarm or help button to call for assistance. Always wait fro trained emergency personnel.
  5. If service response exceed 30 minutes, 911 or the fire department should be called to report the entrapment.
  6. The best thing to do is relax and wait for professional assistance. If you wait for professional help, you will be safe.

Free Fall


57 percent of elevator deaths are from fall deaths. Some are when the door opens but no car is there, some happen when the floor of he elevator car collapses.

  • When you are waiting for an elevator and the door opens, wait and be alert. Look to make sure there is a car to step into.
  • In the event of a fire or situation that can lead to disruption of electrical services, take the stairs.
  • When available, hold onto handrail while riding an elevator.
  • Report unusual metal sounds, grinding cables, car jerkiness or spongy or uneven floor to building management.


A woman survived in the longest elevator free fall in 1945. The elevators plugged a thousand feet. The woman survived by holding onto the handrail.

Courtley, C. (2012). SEAL survival guide: A Navy SEAL’s secrets to surviving any disaster. New York: Gallery Books.

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