Elevator Escape

Devoted to the discussion of skills applicable in an urban environment

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
manowar1313
* * *
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:43 pm

Elevator Escape

Post by manowar1313 » Sun May 18, 2014 8:55 pm

I was recently watching American Blackout 2013 on Natgeo and some of the characters are stuck on an elevator. I ride an elevator daily and am curious, if in a SHTF situation I was trapped on the elevator how should I proceed?
I know they lock the top door from the outside so people can't elevator surf. Also since it's not an express elevator I shouldn't be more then a few feet from a door at any time.
Anyone have any experience or an expert suggestion on what you should do when trapped in an elevator?

Also here's the link to the video I was watching, I give it 5 stars.
Anyone wanting to talk sh*t about my guns needs to remember I'm holding a gun.

Kilo147
* *
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:36 am
Location: 6 miles NNE of Seattle

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by Kilo147 » Mon May 19, 2014 1:49 am

I'd chill in the elevator. Up in my neck of the woods, some shitheel got stuck in an elevator and after something like 15 minutes he pried open the doors and tried to escape. Retard died falling 18 stories, leaving a wife and child behind. He wasn't claustrophobic, just impatient.

Fuck it. Pop a sleeping pill, relax, and know the brakes are well made and working.
Last edited by Kilo147 on Mon May 19, 2014 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Zimmy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 965
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:11 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days later, Return of the Living Dead
Location: Trinity City, Texas

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by Zimmy » Mon May 19, 2014 1:17 pm

You can pry open the inner doors and then outer doors where I work. I've done it. It took some energy, but any adult could do it without tools. I did it because I was the guy who should have been in the control room to answer trapped-in-elevator alarms that night and didn't have a phone signal.

When the doors are opened between floors, (I was told by the elevator repairman in our shop) a cable is pulled that permanently locks the brakes in the engaged position.

Not all elevators may be made that way.
Boldly going nowhere

User avatar
Mikeyboy
* * * * *
Posts: 2265
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:00 am

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by Mikeyboy » Mon May 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Here is a Wikihow, on what to do if stuck in an elevator. #8 is the "in extreme life of death emergencies" how to get out of the elevator. In my young hooligan days I have pulled apart the inner doors of an elevator to expose the outer doors. It takes a bit of effort but it can be done. The thing I didn't think about was using the stop switch before you start. This way if it doesn't have a fail safe like Zimmy said, you have some protection if the elevator decides to move when you are in the worst possible position. If I was ever stuck in an elevator I still would never attempt this and just wait for help to arrive, unless its was one of those major SHTF events and you are sure that if you stay you will be trapped for days or perhaps never be rescued.

http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-a-Stranded-Elevator
8
If all else fails and you're in a dangerous situation, break out. If nothing works and you are in an extreme life-or-death emergency, do whatever you can to get out of the elevator. Be careful crawling around an elevator shaft. You can risk electrocution and being crushed if the elevator starts moving again. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to break out: •Pull or push the "stop" button to ensure the elevator doesn't move while you're attempting to crawl out.
•Try to pry open the elevator door. If you're aligned with a floor, you may be able to pry open the doors and walk out. Look around the elevator to see if you can find any objects on the walls that can help you pry the doors open.
•Search the roof of the elevator for the service hatch. Attempt to force it open and crawl out. Even if you do get out through the latch, there still may be no way out of the elevator shaft. But if you find yourself in a real emergency, then this may be your only chance.

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16804
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by raptor » Mon May 19, 2014 2:24 pm

A lot (not all) building elevators when there a power failure (as opposed to a mechanical failure) will resume activity when the emergency generator kicks in. In my building in a power failure the emergency generator activation will send a recall signal to the elevator. This recall signal will result in the elevator restoring service BUT it will descend to the lobby and open the doors.

The elevator will be descending via gravity and you may not fell it moving...but it is.

Why is this important? Because if you have pried open the doors AND are on a floor where you can access the elevator lobby AND are leaving the elevator when it starts to descend andy part of your body in between the door sill and elevator roof sill will be sheared off. It won't make any difference if it is a hand, foot, head or torso. The elevator will act like a scissors.


Do not even think of using a roof access panel (if there is one).


Your best bet is to wait and use the alarm and phone. If that does not get immediate assistance be patient and keep trying. Seriously elevators are a really pretty dangerous if used improperly.

That said if you have depart the elevator into the elevator lobby under less than ideal circumstances DO NOT linger in what I call the scissors....the threshold/doorway. Move through there quickly. If you cannot do this quickly, rethink the move.

manowar1313
* * *
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:43 pm

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by manowar1313 » Tue May 20, 2014 8:09 pm

I definitely agree that the best course is to stay put but in a SHFT and you had to escape...
Anyone wanting to talk sh*t about my guns needs to remember I'm holding a gun.

User avatar
Boondock
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 2691
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:37 pm
Location: Chicagoland

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by Boondock » Tue May 20, 2014 8:30 pm

raptor wrote:… DO NOT linger in what I call the scissors…
Yup. Because it doesn't just happen in the movies. :shock:


williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by williaty » Thu May 22, 2014 1:33 am

Happened at my college shortly after I moved out of the dorms. Idiot kids though 24 people in an elevator that could reasonably hold maybe 10 people if they didn't have personal bubbles was a great idea. It put the elevator close to 1000lbs overweight, overloaded the brakes, and it began to sink with the doors still open. Kid tried to jump back off and was caught and killed. It later turned out that the brakes began to slip at 100% of the rated load while they're required to hold to 125% of rated. Wouldn't have mattered, though, as they overloaded the elevator far worse than that.

Interesting thing to me is that, in the aftermath, a bunch of their elevators failed the brake test even though they were being tested and maintained on schedule and had semi-recently tested OK.

Rege
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:14 pm

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by Rege » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:44 pm

Hello.

Been lurking for some time.

I used to install elevators for a living.

We took great pains to prevent people from getting out of stuck elevators. With the exception of the regular door, any service/escape hatch should be locked from the outside.

There is NO ladder in the elevator shaft.

There is NOTHING to climb up or down on in the shaft.

There will probably be a sheet metal lining inside the shaft everywhere on the door side except at a landing.

You will NOT be able to climb the greased cables on a traction elevator.

There is NOTHING to climb onto above a hydrolic elevator.

If you manage to pry open the door (doable as posted above) the main elevator safety circuit (CX circuit in a Otis unit) will open and SHOULD prevent the car from moving. If you happen to be at or near a hall door you should be able to operate the hall door opening mechanism and escape.

Note in normal operation the hall door is opened by the car door, this absolutely prevents the hall door from opening without a car present.

In some cases the sheet metal will be absent from in front of the door, SOME buildings MAY have a double layer of 3/4 inch sheetrock that you can break thru to get to a hall. MAYBE.

Prying open a door WILL NOT set the brakes, the brakes will ONLY be set on a traction elevator if the car over speeds in a down direction. The brakes are set with a separate cable that spins either a flyball governor (old school) or a centripetal dog clutch unit either will require a maintance man to physically reset the governor.

Hydraulic elevators have no brakes with the exception of a seismic (earthquake) unit in California.

Pay day is Friday, union dues are due the first day of the quarter. :)

Rege

JackBauer
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 585
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:05 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: All of the Night of the Dead series
I Am Legend
28 Days Later
Walking Dead (tv series)
Location: North Jersey
Contact:

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by JackBauer » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:46 pm

Rege wrote:Hello.

Been lurking for some time.

I used to install elevators for a living.

We took great pains to prevent people from getting out of stuck elevators. With the exception of the regular door, any service/escape hatch should be locked from the outside.

There is NO ladder in the elevator shaft.

There is NOTHING to climb up or down on in the shaft.

There will probably be a sheet metal lining inside the shaft everywhere on the door side except at a landing.

You will NOT be able to climb the greased cables on a traction elevator.

There is NOTHING to climb onto above a hydrolic elevator.

If you manage to pry open the door (doable as posted above) the main elevator safety circuit (CX circuit in a Otis unit) will open and SHOULD prevent the car from moving. If you happen to be at or near a hall door you should be able to operate the hall door opening mechanism and escape.

Note in normal operation the hall door is opened by the car door, this absolutely prevents the hall door from opening without a car present.

In some cases the sheet metal will be absent from in front of the door, SOME buildings MAY have a double layer of 3/4 inch sheetrock that you can break thru to get to a hall. MAYBE.

Prying open a door WILL NOT set the brakes, the brakes will ONLY be set on a traction elevator if the car over speeds in a down direction. The brakes are set with a separate cable that spins either a flyball governor (old school) or a centripetal dog clutch unit either will require a maintance man to physically reset the governor.

Hydraulic elevators have no brakes with the exception of a seismic (earthquake) unit in California.

Pay day is Friday, union dues are due the first day of the quarter. :)

Rege
Concurred, I performed a lot of Elevator/escalator maintenance evaluations and witnessed many ASME A 17 code compliance inspections for elevators at many of the NY?NJ Port Authority facilities such as the WTC (the original), Journal Square, PABT, George Washington Bridge(elevators in each leg of the bridge support towers :awesome: , etc.

Like Rege said, opening a hoistway door (hall) or car door will open the safety circuit preventing the electrical operation of the elevator car prime mover. That's IF the safety circuit has been properly maintained and not jumped out--either by unknown parties or a mechanic at the elevator controller attempting to move a car. For normal laymen I suggest wait for rescue unless the situation appears dire.
A person should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog,. .., build a wall, set a bone, take and give orders, cooperate, analyze & solve problems, fight efficiently, die gallantly RH
http://johnfoberg.blogspot.com/

Brier1
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:51 pm

Re: Elevator Escape

Post by Brier1 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:03 am

My building has the scariest lift I have ever seen: It stalls all the time, there is a constant delay between pressing the buttons and it actually closing the door then moving (I just KNOW that's the point id get killed in a zombie movie)
The doors will jam every now and again too, and tbh I've just got into the habit of pulling the door open so I can get to my flat.
There's also been a note in the lift that reads "sorry for any inconvenience, replacement parts are being delivered, until this time the 1st floor is not accessible" which has been there since I moved in nearly a year ago.

I take the stairs as often as I can, but still.

As far as a SHTF scenario, I agree that you've just got get out of the lift.

Post Reply

Return to “Urban Skillz”