What to Do if You are Stuck in an Elevator

Commercial elevator

When I was younger, my classmates and I were on a field trip and we got stuck in a commercial elevator. We were in there for a good few hours until the elevator repair company showed up and did whatever an elevator safety company does and get us out of there. It would have been helpful for the one teacher that was with us to know what to do in that kind of situation. She panicked and hyperventilated and it didn’t help anyone inside that commercial elevator to remain calm. Residential elevator services admit that residential lifts are not as scary because generally, you aren’t trying to shove an entire classroom of kids into one elevator but when you think of commercial elevators, you assume they will be able to hold 20 or so 12 year old’s. But apparently, that was not so in our case. Here are some tips that would be good for you to know if you ever find your self stuck in a commercial elevator.

Don’t Panic
This is the number one priority, especially if you are surrounded by children. Children feed off of your emotion and if you are getting upset and scared, then they will realize that no one is in control and end up just as freaked out as you are, if not more. Children need the security and safety of thinking that the adult is in charge and not afraid, even when they are. This gives them the calming sense that everything is going to be okay. They need to be able to trust the adult that is there instead of assuming that the elevator is going to plummet to certain death.

Know a Little Info
It would have been extremely helpful if our teacher had found out sooner than elevators no longer only rely on the pullies and cords that are holding it in place. These are used more as stabilizers now rather than the entire system. Especially more modern elevators are made with much more advanced systems that turn off the electricity when an elevator goes out of service which makes them stuck in place. It would be extremely difficult for an elevator to get out of that system in order to plummet down the elevator shaft. That really is just something out of the movies. But, 12 year old’s think that movies must be real in some sense, other wise no one would be able to create the move, right? It is the adult’s responsibility to reassure the children that elevators do not plummet to certain death and no one is going to get hurt as a result.

Make it a Game
If you are stuck in the elevator during business hours and are between floors, no one may know you are there. Generally speaking, most people have cell phones but if some reason there is no signal and the emergency phone is out of order, you are going to have to have everyone make a lot of noise. This can cause chaos and panic especially if no one responds right away. So, instead of telling everyone to hysterically scream and shout their heads on, make a game out of it. For example, have everyone start singing the song “Help, I need somebody, help” as loud as they possibly can and slowly add to the noise if no one responds. Have some people take off their shoes and keep the beat on the wall of the elevator or use whatever other noise makers you can think of. The kids will enjoy that much more than screaming and crying.

Generally speaking, especially during business hours, people are not stuck for very long. Eventually someone is going to try and use the elevator and realize that it is not coming. Chances are, if they are standing there pressing the button, they are trying to listen for the whir of the approaching elevator and when they don’t hear that, but instead hear the sound of children singing for help, they will immediately contact whoever needs to take care of the situation. Following these tips will make the experience a funny story to tell later instead of a traumatic experience the children will need therapy to get over.

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Sarah Todd

Sarah Todd

Sarah Todd, an investment banker, is a reporter and researcher for one of London’s leading media outlets. Formerly a trader and market maker at FTSE, she turned to media during the global recession. This website features some of her best and favourite articles, from all parts of the business world. Please let her guide you and your enterprise along the path to prosperity.