The risk of death or injury on an elevator is relatively low. According to the CDC, there are just 30 elevator- or escalator-related deaths in the United States each year, and about half of those deaths are of people who were working on, rather than riding on elevators.
However sporadic they may be, elevator accidents still happen. Understandably, many people feel a bit nervous whenever they step into an elevator. If you've recently installed an elevator in your home, it's important to follow all necessary safety tips.
The following five safety tips can help you avoid accident and injury.
1. CHOOSE AN EXPERIENCED ELEVATOR CONTRACTOR
Begin putting a priority on elevator safety before your elevator is installed. Home elevator installation can be pricey. However, it's well worth it to invest in a high-quality product that will continue to work smoothly for years to come. Choose an elevator contractor who has years of experience building and installing elevators.
Also, make sure the elevator contractor you choose has a repair person located nearby. That way, they can send someone to repair your elevator at a moment's notice.
2. CALL IMMEDIATELY WHEN YOUR ELEVATOR NEEDS REPAIR
If you hear squealing or squeaking noises coming from your elevator, stop using your elevator and call a repair technician right away. These sounds could indicate loose and broken cables and pulleys.
Another sign your elevator needs repair is if it isn't aligned with the floor when it stops. A repair person may need to repair the cables or brakes to ensure your elevator stops correctly.
Don't assume these problems aren't serious—it can be dangerous to ride your elevator when it needs repair.
Your elevator also needs maintenance about once a year so it doesn't develop dangerous problems. Ask your elevator contractor about a regular maintenance schedule.
3. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE EMERGENCY FEATURES
If the elevator stops between floors, there are a couple of emergency features that can save the day. Your home elevator should have an alarm button that you can press for help. It should also have an emergency phone installed.
You can push the alarm button or use the emergency phone to call an emergency operator. He or she will send personnel to help you safely exit the elevator. You should never try to exit the elevator on your own if the elevator gets stuck.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO ELEVATOR WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS
Some people pay less attention to weight requirements with personal elevators than they would with public elevators. They might transport a large party of friends or use their elevator to move heavy furniture.
Keep in mind that most standard elevators can hold between 1,000 and 6,000 pounds. Home elevators are typically smaller than public elevators and often have lower weight limits.
Overloading an elevator can cause serious issues. Cables may break or elevator doors may fail to close. That's why you should always stay well within your elevator's weight requirements.
5. ENTER AND EXIT CAREFULLY
Entering and exiting the elevator is simple but important. A lack of attention could lead to falls and injuries.
Watch your step as you enter the elevator so you don't trip and fall. Then, move well away from the doors so they don't close on you. It's best to hold onto the elevator's handrail so you don't fall as the elevator moves.
You should also wait until the doors open completely before exiting the elevator.
Home elevators are helpful for family members with disabilities. They're also convenient for those with large homes. By following these safety tips, you can experience safe elevator rides day after day.