Don't Panic—And 4 Other Tips to Follow if You Get Stuck in an Elevator

Construction & Contractors Articles

People working in tall buildings ride elevators many times a day, often without a second thought about getting stuck in one of those elevators. That's because elevators are very safe. Even if someone gets stuck in an elevator, the chances are very high that you'll be quickly rescued. In fact, only 26 people die in elevators every year, and those people are mostly service personnel who work on elevators. This means that the odds are in your favor that you won't meet your fate in an elevator at work. But that doesn't mean that elevators never break down.

If an elevator ceases to operate and you are stuck inside, here's what you should do:

1. Press the Door Open Button

The first thing you should do is press the "door open" button a couple times. This button often has a line down the middle, with an arrow pointing to the left on the left side and an arrow pointed to the right on the right side. The majority of emergency calls occur when this door open button gets stuck, and the elevator doors don't open when it reaches the desired floor.

If that doesn't work, also push the "door close" button, which may be jammed. This button looks just like the open button, only the 2 arrows are pointing towards the center line. You can also press the button of the floor below you, to see if that gets the elevator working again.

2. Press the Call Button

If you've pressed the buttons discussed above and nothing happens, it's time to press the call button to alert the authorities. Typically, the call button is a red button on the elevator panel, with a picture of a telephone on it. Or the button may simply spell out the word "call" or "emergency." Pressing this button will alert maintenance personnel that there's a problem with the elevator, and an elevator technician will be dispatched to check out the situation. Give them some time to get there, because in some cases the elevator maintenance service you alerted isn't located in your building. Also, be aware that in older elevators, there may be an actual telephone that automatically calls a service center when it's picked up, not a button.

If you can't find a call button, or the button isn't working, then use your cell phone to call 911. If you don't have cell phone service in the elevator, then simply start banging on the elevator door with your shoe to alert someone of your presences in the stuck elevator. The key is to not bang constantly, so you don't waste too much energy or cause your anxiety levels to rise. 

3. Play An Icebreaker

It may sound cheesy, but if you are stuck in an elevator with other people, playing an icebreaker is a great way to take your mind off the current situation. It will help pass the time while you wait to be rescued. Icebreakers are helpful for reducing anxiety, fostering interactions, and helping to form relationships.

A great icebreaker game to play when you're stuck in an elevator is "Three Truths And A Lie," because you don't need anything to play. Simply take turns having people say 3 things: 2 truths and 1 lie. Then everyone else must guess which statement is the lie.

4. Don't Try To Escape

If you've pressed the call button and some time has gone by without any signs of rescue, you will be tempted to try and open the elevator doors manually to escape. This is a very bad idea, because the risk is too high that you'll injure yourself. If you are successful at prying the elevator doors open with your hands without hurting them, you may find out that you are between floors. If there is a small space open at the top or the bottom of the elevator, don't try to crawl out of it. You never know if the elevator will suddenly start to work again and begin moving.

5. Don't Panic

If you don't feel panic set in within the first few minutes of realizing you're stuck in the elevator, you may start to feel it after you've been stuck for a while. Just remember that as long as you are in the elevator, you are safe. Even if it starts to get hot inside the elevator, there is plenty of air circulating in it, so you won't suffocate. The more you panic, the worse the situation will get, especially if you work yourself up so much that you have a full-blown panic attack and no one can get in to give you medical attention. So just keep breathing slowly, and remember that eventually you will get out.

Everyone fears being stuck in an elevator at least once in their lives. Following these tips and showing patience is the best way to handle this situation. Before you know it, someone from elevator maintenance services will be dispatched to rescue you and get the elevator back into working condition. For more help, visit resources like


8 September 2015

New Trends In The Construction Industry

My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.