Top 6 Elevator Myths Debunked

Businessman taking the elevator

Action movies often use elevators for dramatic effect, perpetuating myths that can trigger anxiety for some elevator passengers. But those misconceptions can stay where they belong – in fiction. We’re here to lay out the facts.

Not all that you see in movies is true. In the real world, elevators and escalators are highly regulated and designed with many safety features that protect passengers. Keeping elevators safe is a joint effort that involves technology and maintenance service providers, building owners, and equipment users. Importantly, following simple safety tips will ensure a seamless ride.

Let’s debunk a few urban legends about elevators.


Myth #1: Elevators are held up by one rope that could break.

Nope! Elevators are supported by multiple steel cables, and each cable alone can support a fully loaded car. It is highly unusual for even a single rope to break. Even in the extremely improbable case of all the ropes snapping, safety features like the overspeed governor will detect the overspeed of the elevator and activate safety devices to stop the elevator.

Those action scenes where the sparks fly off the guide rails as the elevator races down uncontrollably are pure Hollywood nonsense.


Myth #2: An overcrowded elevator will fall.

Not true. Normally, an overloaded car just won’t move. The doors will stay open and a buzzer may ring until enough people get off the elevator to reduce the weight. Many elevators are equipped with technology that will effectively guide riders to available elevators to reduce overcrowding in the first place.


Myth #3: An elevator car can run out of oxygen if it gets stuck between floors.

Breathe easy on this one. Elevator cars are well ventilated. While country regulations may vary, there are international standards for ventilation that must be adhered to so air moves freely in and out. In some cases, elevators are also equipped with air conditioning.


Myth #4: It’s possible to escape from inside an elevator car into the shaft through a safety hatch.

Safety hatches or trap doors often exist for rescue purposes, but most can only be opened from the outside by trained rescue professionals. Passengers should never attempt to use them as escape routes. So, if you’re trapped in an elevator, the safest thing to do is press the alarm button (or call for help on your phone), stay put, and wait to be rescued. In many cases, the alarm button is connected to a rescue service.

Never attempt to get out by yourself. And never pry an elevator’s doors open either, because the elevator might not be in front of a door opening. You could put yourself and other passengers in danger.


Myth #5: Pushing the call button multiple times will make the elevator arrive faster.

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t the case. When you push the button, the elevator gets your “call” and its software determines the elevator’s route. There are simpler and more sophisticated call systems, but the basic idea is the same: one push is enough to generate action.

Pushing the button several times often makes us feel like we’re doing something to speed things up – but in reality, it doesn’t make any difference. Pressing the “door close” button once inside the car, however, will trigger the doors to close sooner.


Myth #6: The elevator doors can open between floors.

The simple answer is no. The elevator car controls the opening of the landing door. If the car doesn’t arrive to the floor, there is no signal that triggers the landing doors to open. If in doubt, under no circumstances should you attempt to pry the doors open or get out on your own.

No matter what, don’t panic. Getting nervous will only make things worse, so the first thing to do is take a deep breath. And if you’ve already made contact with maintenance or emergency personnel, sit tight. Elevator entrapment calls are always taken seriously, and maintenance teams are focused on rescuing you in a safe way, as fast as possible.

INFORMATIONAL VIDEO: MONTGOMERY HR SERIES COMBPLATE IMPACT DEVICE UPGRADE

The combplate impact device has been a required safety device per ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators & Escalators since the early 1990’s. KONE Spares has developed combplate impact upgrade kits for all Montgomery HR Series escalators model types manufactured from the 1960’s thru the early 2000’s. 

To learn more about this upgrade and why it’s an important safety feature, we invite you to watch this short informational video excerpted from our NAEC 2020 presentations:

For anyone who received this as an email and are having problems viewing the video, please use the link above to see it on the KONE Spares website.

Don’t Take A Child Wearing a Leash or Harness onto an Elevator or Escalator

When properly maintained, and used as intended, elevators and escalators are some of the safest methods of transportation in existence. But if you use a type of harness or leash on a small child, do not take your child on an elevator or escalator.

Anything dangling like a leash — as well as untied shoelaces, long coat straps, etc. — can be caught in moving equipment with disastrous consequences. This goes not only for escalators but elevators as well, as a child (or pet) on a leash could dart in or out of the cab as the doors close, the doors can catch the leash, and the elevator cab goes into motion … again with disastrous consequences.

The best way to protect children around moving equipment is to hold their hand and guide them safely. If using a baby cart or stroller, always use an elevator — never take them on an escalator. And always, always, always keep an eye on them. Do not let them play or linger around elevators, escalators, or even stairs.

Please help spread this important message.

Escalator & Autowalk Safety Tips

  • Instruct passengers to ride safely.
  • Hold the handrail.
  • Ride the escalator facing the appropriate direction of travel.
  • Do not lean over the handrail.
  • Keep feet away from the escalator’s sides.
  • Step over the combplates at the top and bottom of the escalator.
  • Children in strollers should never be transported on the escalator.
  • Physically challenged passengers should never use the escalator.
  • Do not transport freight on the escalator.
  • Attend and hold children’s hands when riding escalator.
  • Children should be accompanied by an adult and never left alone in the vicinity of an escalator.
  • Do not allow anyone, especially children to play on or around the escalator.
  • Do not jump on escalator.
  • Keep hands away from handrail inlets and step.

Elevator Safety Tips

  • Enter and exit the elevator promptly.
  • Watch your step when entering or exiting the elevator.
  • Children should always be accompanied by an adult when using the elevator.
  • Do not allow children to play on or around an elevator.
  • Children should be accompanied by an adult and never left alone in the vicinity of an elevator.
  • No unauthorized person should enter the elevator hoistway.
  • Elevators must not be used in the event of a fire or other emergency situations.
  • Do not transport any long objects by opening the car top emergency exit.
  • Do not jump in the car while the elevator is running.
  • Do not prevent the operation of the infrared door detection-cells with objects.
  • Never wedge an object or any part of the body in the path of a closing elevator door.
  • Comply with the stated number of persons/weight for the elevator.
  • When cleaning corridors or car interior, avoid sweeping water into the shaft.
  • Use the ‘stop’ and ‘alarm’ buttons only when required.
  • When calling the elevator, press only the button indicating the direction you wish to travel.

KONE Spares Missing Step Detector Upgrade

Are you tired of false stops and replacing worn out missing step detection sensors? If your answer is yes, then check this out:

KONE Spares Missing Step Detector with Proximity Sensors

These proximity sensors don’t make any contact with the escalator – at all.

No contact = NO WEAR AND TEAR
No wear and tear means fewer replacements.

This is the KONE Spares Missing Step Detector Upgrade.

  • Can be used as an upgrade for Montgomery escalators that were shipped with the old roller-type missing step detector device
  • Fits most escalators, not just the Montgomery HRs
  • Improved reliability

This featured product is on special. Contact us for the details!

Essential People for an Essential Business

Many essential businesses and institutions, including hospitals, rely on their elevators for critical operations. During the current pandemic, it is more important than ever to make sure these elevators continue running smoothly, and if they are shut down, they must be repaired as quickly as possible. 

This is why our warehouse staff is also considered essential, as without them the spare parts won’t be shipped to the businesses which need them. 

We want to take this opportunity to honor and thank these dedicated professionals who keep the flow of parts moving.

Temperatures are taken before anyone is allowed in the warehouse.

For everyone’s protection, temperatures are taken before anyone is allowed entry into the warehouse. This goes beyond our dedicated warehouse staff, as it also includes drivers and material handlers from the various shipping services as well. 

Proper social distancing is enforced as mandatory, as is face covering. Again, this applies to everyone entering the premises, not just our employees. 

To further enhance social distancing, we’ve staggered shifts in line with the various time zones to which we’re shipping, so that there are fewer people in the warehouse at the same time. 

Meanwhile, all other KONE Spares employees are working from home to provide continued support for our industry.  

Together, we will get through this unprecedented time in modern history. KONE Spares continues to be dedicated to our customers, and our customer’s customers, because as before, we will only succeed if you succeed

We are with you in this. If you’re healthy, we hope you remain so, and if you, your team, or loved ones are affected, we are supporting you with prayer for a quick recovery. 

And again, a huge heartfelt thank you to our warehouse staff, without whom the essential services would not be possible. 

Preparing Your Elevator for a Hurricane

It’s hurricane season again, so we’re keeping this checklist up at the top of our blog. Let’s all make sure to stay safe, and if you need us, we’re here for you.

So, on to the hurricane preparedness list…

BEFORE THE HURRICANE

  • Check all sump pumps, float switches and alarms in elevator pits.
  • Close up all vents and openings in top of hoistway and machine room to prevent water from entering.
  • If elevators open to the outside, place sandbags along the bottom of hoistway doors. Since this makes the elevator unusable, do this just before shutting down the elevator.

DURING THE HURRICANE

  • Run elevators to the top floor of hoistway and pull the main breaker in the elevator machine room (not in the building’s main breaker room).
  • Park elevators with doors closed.
  • Do not operate elevators during the hurricane.

AFTER THE HURRICANE

  • Inspect the elevator pit, cab and machine room for any water. Do not energize main line breaker if water is found.
  • If water is found, call your elevator service provider immediately!
  • Do not attempt to start elevator if power is out – call your electric company

Even with the proper preparations, hurricanes often cause power outages and surges that can stop elevators between floors and entrap passengers, and worse, knock out the emergency communication system. Be aware that people may be trapped in elevators with no way to call for help. We can’t state this strongly enough: never try to exit, or attempt to help others exit, a stalled elevator without trained professional rescue workers on hand.

Lift Aide instead of First Aide

Continuing our week of highlighting safety, today we want to introduce you to something we designed for ourselves, and now provide to the industry.

This is our Lift Aide system, which we developed to prevent strains or injury when lifting heavy escalator controllers in or out of escalator pits. The Lift Aide is certified with a lift capacity of 200 pounds, providing an easier means of removing heavy controllers for escalator servicing.

How does it work? A support bracket is permanently installed inside the escalator pit. The Lift-Aide easily slides into this support bracket, providing a safe and almost effortless means of lifting the controller out for service.

Extra brackets and hardware are available, so you can install them into all of the difficult units you have in service. That way only one Lift Aide is needed, as it can easily be moved from unit to unit.

For more information, see our website: KONE Spares Lift Aide »