Are you fear-struck at the thought of getting stuck in an elevator? You’re not alone. With elevators being an essential part of our daily life, it’s important to know the proper steps to take if it stops unexpectedly. In this blog post, I’ll discuss what you can do to stay safe in such a situation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stay calm and use the emergency button or phone to call for assistance during an elevator stoppage.
  • Avoid overcrowding and follow weight limitations to prevent elevator stoppages.
  • If stuck in an elevator, check for a phone, call for help, and wait for a certified technician to assist.

Why Do Elevators Stop?

Elevators may stop for a variety of reasons, such as power failure, mechanical problems, or sensor malfunctions. Regular maintenance of elevators in a building is essential to prevent unexpected halts. This is where an Elevator Maintenance Contract comes into play.

Such contracts ensure that elevators are routinely checked and serviced by professionals. This not only minimizes the risk of sudden stoppages but also ensures that safety features, like emergency phones and backup power, are always functional.

What to Do if Elevator Stops?

Being stuck in an elevator can be a frightening experience, but it’s important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety.

1. Check For A Phone

  • Look for a phone inside the elevator to call for help from non-elevator personnel.

A friend once got stuck in an elevator, found the emergency phone, and called the building’s maintenance team for assistance. Following their instructions, she was safely rescued by the non-elevator personnel within 30 minutes.

2. Call For Help

  1. Locate the emergency phone within the elevator.
  2. Use the phone to request assistance, providing the elevator’s location and any relevant details for a service call.
  3. Stay on the line to answer questions and follow instructions until help arrives.

Pro-tip: Familiarize yourself with the location of the emergency phone and the process for placing a service call before entering any elevator.

3. Wait For Assistance

  • Remain Calm: Stay composed and assess your surroundings.
  • Use The Emergency Button: Contact building personnel or a certified technician for qualified assistance.
  • Avoid Attempting To Escape: Exiting without professional help can be dangerous and may violate elevator codes.
  • Follow Instructions From Elevator Personnel: Listen to guidance from trained professionals for a safe resolution.

How To Stay Safe In Elevator During A Stoppage?

It can be a nerve-wracking experience when an elevator suddenly stops and leaves you stranded. However, knowing the proper steps to take during a stoppage can help you stay safe and calm until help arrives.

1. Remain Calm

Keep composure, utilize safety features like the emergency button, and await qualified assistance.

2. Use The Emergency Button

  1. Press the alarm button to alert building personnel about the issue.
  2. If available, use the emergency phone to communicate directly with qualified assistance.
  3. Follow instructions given by the staff through the intercom or the emergency phone.

Fact: Emergency buttons in elevators are directly connected to building security and maintenance teams for prompt response.

3. Avoid Attempting To Escape

  • Stay Calm: Panicking can escalate the situation and lead to injuries for trapped passengers.
  • Use the Emergency Unlocking Device: Send a signal for help through the emergency unlocking device or intercom.
  • Wait for Assistance: Attempting to escape can result in serious accidents. It’s safer to wait for professional help.

Pro-tip: Learn how to use the Emergency Unlocking Device in the elevator.

4. Follow Instructions From Elevator Personnel

  1. Remain calm and attentive during a stoppage, ensuring safety.
  2. Listen to instructions from the trained personnel for proper guidance.
  3. Follow priority service protocols provided by the elevator personnel.
  4. Refrain from attempting to open external doors or escape without assistance.

Common Reasons For Elevator Stoppages

Elevators are a convenient and essential mode of transportation in modern buildings. However, they can sometimes malfunction and stop working, causing inconvenience and potential danger to passengers.

By understanding these potential issues, we can be better prepared to handle elevator stoppages and ensure the safety of all passengers.

1. Power Outages

  • Remain calm during a power failure to conserve energy.
  • Use the emergency button to alert the building’s emergency personnel or services.
  • If possible, contact the fire department for assistance and inform them of the situation.
  • Ensure proper air circulation by avoiding obstruction of the ventilation system and following any instructions provided for its use.

2. Mechanical Malfunctions

  • Regular maintenance: Schedule routine inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician.
  • Prompt repairs: Address lift malfunctions immediately to prevent potential stoppages.
  • Emergency preparedness: Equip the elevator with a standard communication system and an emergency stop switch.
  • Training: Ensure trained personnel are available to handle emergency situations and address mechanical issues.

In 1854, Elisha Otis showcased the safety elevator, equipped with a mechanism to prevent free-falling in case of a cable failure, revolutionizing the industry.

3. Overloaded Elevator

  • Inform passengers about the weight limit.
  • Monitor and restrict the number of people entering the elevator.
  • Install door restriction devices to prevent the elevator from moving if the doors are not closed properly.

In 1945, an elevator in the Empire State Building plunged 75 stories when a B-25 bomber crashed into the building, resulting in the survival of the trapped passengers.


In conclusion, it is crucial to stay calm and use emergency features if an elevator stops unexpectedly. Follow the safety guidelines provided and wait for assistance from qualified personnel. Avoid overcrowding, adhere to weight limits, report any issues to help prevent stoppages. and take the stairs if possible.

Share this blog post with friends so they too can be prepared to handle elevator emergencies. For additional elevator safety tips, contact your building management to learn about emergency protocols and safety features in place.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What should you do first when you realize the elevator has stopped?

First, try to remain calm. Press the alarm or emergency button to alert building maintenance or emergency services.

How can you communicate if the elevator’s emergency phone is not working?

If your cell phone has service, use it to call for help. If not, make noise or shout for assistance if you believe people are nearby.

Is it safe to try and pry open the elevator doors?

No, it’s unsafe to try and open the doors yourself. Wait for professional help as attempting to open the doors can be dangerous.

Jordan Miller

Jordan Miller has over a decade of hands-on experience in the construction and home improvement industry. Having worked in various capacities, from a tradesperson to a workshop instructor, Jordan is well-versed in the nuances of tools from the perspective of both a user and an educator. Jordan's reviews are particularly noted for their practical tips and tricks, making complex equipment approachable to all.

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