What are ways to make elevators safer?
- Put Clear Instructions
- Have Periodic Audits and Inspections
- Regularly Disinfect Your Elevators
- Install A Lift Access System
For hundreds of buildings, elevator quality and safety are a part of building maintenance. Nowadays, with the vaccine rollout and businesses opening up, riding in an elevator has returned to be an everyday occurrence for millions of workers. However, the ongoing issue of the pandemic and overcrowding of public spaces raises the problem of elevator safety. Many business owners may be looking for ways to make their elevators safer, and luckily this article has some solutions for these readers.
Put Clear Instructions
Putting simple yet clear instructions outside and inside your elevators can help in ensuring passenger safety. Often, passengers will forget the guidelines in using elevators, and having visual reminders will encourage them to follow proper elevator etiquette. It’s important that they not only know how to properly ride these elevators but also know how to stay calm and what to do in case of an accident (such as the elevator stalling).
Adding safety tips in the form of printed-out instructions with illustrations in the elevator queuing area will give passengers a chance to read these instructions before entering the lift. Having illustrations will make it easier for the passengers to understand and remember.
Some tips to include are elevator etiquette such as the following:
- Don’t wait in front of the elevators
- Allow passengers to exit before entering
- Line up while waiting
- Push the button for your floor once
- Keep a distance from the passengers
- Don’t attempt to stop closing doors
- Don’t overcrowd a full car
- Avoid using the elevator during emergencies
Inside the elevator car, include instructions for passengers so that crowding or accidents will be prevented. Remind them to stay near the walls of the car to give ample space to all passengers, to hold their bags, children, and pets close to them, and to avoid pressing multiple floor buttons.
Additionally, include instructions for cases of elevator emergencies. Give clear instructions on what to do should the elevator become stalled, such as which button is to be used to call for help, or if they should press an alarm button. Inform passengers on how to use the telecom or telephone feature of the elevator to call for assistance.
Add reassurances as well so that no one will panic and cause additional problems. Remind them that there is plenty of air inside, that there are emergency lights that can be activated if needed, and to never attempt to leave the elevator car by forcing the doors open.
Have Periodic Audits and Inspections
Using audits and inspections to evaluate your elevator equipment is key to making your elevators safer. There are regular inspections that are required by law to evaluate whether or not your elevators and related devices meet safety standards.
Typically, your elevators are required to be inspected at least once per year, and not exceeding a one-year interval. Complying with these laws will ensure that all your operating elevators are safe for continued use.
On the other hand, while an elevator audit is not required by code nor law, it is a needed service that can be pursued by a building owner or property manager to assess the condition of elevator units and the service it’s receiving.
Audits can show you how well your elevator equipment is maintained and serviced by reviewing your current maintenance plans and cross-referencing them with the elevator’s condition and performance. Having regular audits will give an accurate picture of what improvements can be made to your maintenance plans, and can even uncover previously unnoticed issues with your elevators.
Regularly Disinfect Your Elevators
As the pandemic is still ongoing, the health issues of using such a small, enclosed space should be on the forefront of every building owner and property manager. In an elevator, the surfaces are frequently touched by hundreds of people every day, and air circulation is limited to a few vents once the doors are closed.
To mitigate these health risks, not only should people be reminded to wear the proper protective equipment (such as face masks) when inside an elevator car, they should also be reminded to resist touching surfaces like buttons and handles as much as possible. If they can, they should be using another item to press buttons, or use the knuckle of their finger and quickly disinfect that.
Aside from these reminders, you can also add hand sanitizer stations inside and outside the elevator for passengers to disinfect before and after pressing the elevator buttons. You could also add recommendations for passengers to take stairs or escalators when possible, to reduce the number of elevator users.
Elevators should also be disinfected regularly. At this time, it is highly recommended that they be disinfected more than once throughout the day. Before creating your disinfecting plan, review the elevator manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning, as some devices and surfaces could be damaged by certain disinfecting solutions.
Use strong disinfecting solutions to clean high-touch areas, and wipe thoroughly as bacteria and germs can hide in any crevice. It is also important to disinfect interior and exterior surfaces that are not considered high-touch areas as bacteria and germs can land anywhere.
Avoid using sponges when disinfecting, as their porous material can collect bacteria and germs. Also, avoid spraying disinfectant directly onto the elevator surfaces, as they could damage electronics underneath. Instead, spray the disinfectant onto your towel or cloth and then wipe down the surface. After, make sure to throw away all disposable protective equipment used (such as cleaning gloves or paper towels), and wash reusable equipment right away.
Install A Lift Access System
Another safety precaution you can take is to install a lift access system. This technology allows you to control access to specific floors and even to specific elevator cars in your building. You can also restrict access based on predetermined times, or by giving authorization to selected personnel.
This system restricts access by creating an identification system, which can be modified by authorized personnel. Lift access can also be integrated into a security system for added preventive measures.
Access can be granted or denied based on the parameters set in the identification system. Elevators can be restricted based on the user’s classification, time of day, and the specific elevator car that the user is trying to access. This makes this control system both flexible and secure.
The presence of a lift access system can also be used to keep the general public out of restricted areas in your building. This can be done by automatic locking, or by restricting floor access to cardholders. This reduces the need for guards at your elevators and lobbies.
ELID’s Lift Access system is something that you can implement in your building should you want to add another level of security for your facilities. This security solution will improve your building’s protection and minimize external threats.
Elevators are one of the most important parts of a building. These machines serve thousands of people per year, allowing them to get to their destinations in your building faster. Following proper maintenance and knowing additional ways to make elevators safer is integral to keeping a well-maintained building. Proper maintenance, safety protocols, and security will help you prevent problems with your elevators before they happen, and keep your building functioning at optimal conditions.