DEKRA offers tips on what to do in case of an elevator breakdown

Self-Rescue from Elevator Puts Your Life at Risk

Apr 24, 2018

If the elevator gets stuck, and you are trapped inside, you should under no circumstances attempt to get out of the elevator cab yourself, DEKRA experts warn. Such attempts can be fatal. Most modern elevators are equipped with an emergency call system that allows people who are trapped inside to contact a call center that is staffed around the clock. Help usually arrives at the site within 30 minutes.

  • Press emergency call button for three to five seconds
  • Emergency call center is staffed 24/7
  • Calm other people
In the event of an elevator breakdown, the following fixed rules apply to persons using the elevator:
  • Make an emergency call. To do so, press the emergency call button in the elevator cab for at least three to five seconds.
  • Keep calm and trust in the emergency response system. Even if you feel like it is taking a long time for help to come, do not under any circumstances attempt to rescue yourself.
  • Do not try to open the door from the inside in between floors and climb out of the elevator that has come to a standstill halfway between floors. Doing that would put your life at risk: The elevator could start moving unexpectedly.
  • Please follow the instructions given by the emergency services. Usually, the technician will move the elevator into a position in which the doors can be opened from the outside.
If you are stuck in an elevator with other people, try to calm them down. There is no reason to panic. Elevators are built to be safe, have two brakes and further safety devices. Air supply is also ensured. There are vents in the ceiling and doors or in the floor area that let in air from the elevator shaft, which, in turn, is connected to the outside.
Like the persons stuck inside the elevator, any outsiders who pass an elevator that has broken down should refrain from attempting to rescue the people inside and instead call the emergency services. The emergency number is displayed on a small sign at eye level at the main entrance to the elevator. It is usually possible to communicate with the people in the elevator from the outside, to calm them down and keep them up to date on the current status, for example, tell them that help is on the way. In the event of a medical emergency inside the elevator, an emergency physician can also be called.
To rule out defects on elevators as far as possible, the systems are inspected by an expert once a year. The operator must specify maintenance intervals depending on the age, environmental conditions and conditions of use. Users can tell from the date on the test label in the elevator whether it was inspected on schedule. DEKRA would like to remind you never to use the elevator in the event of a fire.