It’s for this reason that we encourage our staff to use the stairs when they’re alone in a block.
Most people don’t like being stuck in lifts. It can be even more unpleasant if they are claustrophobic. Even if they are not in the lift, those who depend on the lift to get to their higher floors may feel the same.
There are no guarantees in life. However, it is certain that a lift well maintained will last longer. Number 1 on our list is…
01. Regular quality maintenance
Too many landlords, managing agents, and managers rely completely on their lift maintenance contractor and statutory inspection report to ensure the safe and reliable operation of their lifts. It’s easy to forget that you can’t do major work without a building inspector. The same goes for seeking out independent advice on an ongoing basis about your lifts.
ILECS is an independent group of eyes that will help you budget appropriately and prevent problems from being reacted to. A trained pair of eyes can also ensure that your lift maintenance contract is up to the task – for example, It actually covers out-of-hours emergencies and it ensures that the response time to reach the site is short.
02. Simple weekly and daily checks
A lift that is acting erratically can indicate that it might be failing. Cledor’s estate managers, concierges, and porters are trained in daily lift checks. It is as simple as calling the lift and checking the level of the floor. Then, you will cut the beam with a hand or foot to test the doors’ sensors. Residents are encouraged to contact the staff if they notice any unusual behavior in the lift.
Our on-site staff tests the autodial unit once a week, at different times of day and night. This ensures that the lift maintenance company responds to calls. They don’t mind at all! They don’t mind keeping our records, whether they are daily or weekly. Any unusual activity is immediately reported to the managing agent.
If the fire alarm is regularly tested and the lift is connected with the building fire alarm it is possible to verify that the lift returns to the ground floor after activation of the fire alarm.
03. Whom to call?
We believe it is important to agree on a lift treatment procedure with every managing agent that we work for. Our on-site staff may be the first ones to respond. Although the trapped person/people should have the ability to contact the lift maintenance company via the autodial unit, it may not always be possible. It is important that the staff on-site knows which company holds the contract, their number for out-of-hours contact, and their maximum response time.
Lift entrapments happen any time of day or night. It is important to agree on a procedure for both in-hours and out-of-hours. This is because the first port-of-call may be an out-of-hours service such as Adiuvo’s rather than the lift maintenance contractor directly. ILECS advises that you note the lift you are in (the lift ID should clearly be visible). This is especially important if there are multiple lifts within the building.
04. Engineers have easy access
The lift engineer must get in the building when he/she arrives. Although it sounds simple, this may not always be true, especially in the middle of the evening. This is due to the lift entrapment process that we regularly create for clients and staff. Cledor staff would always wait to see a lift engineer when someone is stuck in a lift. However, if no staff are present at the time of the incident, the engineer would be very grateful for an external combination lock safe with a fob/key that allows him to gain access to the building.
05. Keep going!
An effective procedure to prevent a lift entrapment includes instructions for staff and residents to attempt to remove the person/people from the lift car using a lift key. It is best to discourage anyone stuck in a lift from trying their luck by opening the doors. When a lift is stuck, the inside of the lift is where you should be. Although it may be unpleasant, the lift car will not go down the shaft.
ILECS explains in their blog, that a lift stopped between floors “is likely to have a large space between the car landing sills and the car” so jumping the gap could cause serious injury or worse.
06. Keep calm
The lift entrapment process for your block will help our/your staff know how to calmly and effectively assist those trapped. In most cases, a reassuring voice explaining who you are and that they won’t be left alone works well. Panic should be avoided. The person/people trapped might call the emergency services, even though the lift engineer is already on his way. London Fire Brigade has been known to bill the lift engineer for their services.
Our friends at ILECS pointed out that sometimes people can be trapped together, as they have written. Do your best to keep other lift part suppliers passengers calm and reassure them that everything will be fine.
07. Check the mobile reception
You can try calling a mobile phone from a lift halfway up the shaft. Make sure to use different networks and take note of the results in the written process. It’s worth testing if there’s no cell reception. One way to check if someone can talk to someone in the lift is to raise one’s voice or bang a shoe against the lift. Anyone who has been on a train that isn’t moving fast knows that passengers are calmer if there is internet access.
08. Avoid carrying heavy loads
Lift entrapments can occur when the lift is overloaded with heavy furniture, people or both. The staff on-site look for signs that a tenant is moving out or in, so it’s possible that a heavy sofa could find its way into the lift car. Residents should be aware that there is a weight limit so that an immediate house party doesn’t end before it starts! You can take the stairs if the lift is full, or wait for it to return to your floor.
09. Antisocial behavior
Someone deliberately damaging a lift is a sad sight. Report to the manager or staff immediately if you become aware of residents forcing the doors to open. Leaning against a lift door can cause it to stop working. Horseplay in a lift car can put it into safe mode, which will shut it down until an engineer can fix it.