We’ve been installing residential and commercial elevators in Delaware and the surrounding areas for more than half a century, so we’re well versed in that rare event, getting stuck in an elevator.

Ironically, the two most important things to do if you get stuck in an elevator are what not to do. First, don’t panic; it won’t get you out faster and anyone who is with you in that elevator won’t be any happier if you do. You need to think, not over think, and be patient.

The second thing to avoid doing is prying open the doors in an elevator that is stuck between floors and crawling out. Yes, we admit it could make a great story for your grandchildren, but what’s downright dangerous is what happens when the elevator wakes up right as the person is crawling out. If it starts to move, serious injury can result.

It’s also worth remembering a simple fact: the cables holding the elevator and the brakes preventing it from slipping are every bit as strong as they were two minutes ago when the elevator was moving. Boredom, not impending doom, is the enemy here.

Other things will continue to work while the elevator is stuck. Your cell phone might get reception, for example. If there is a phone in the elevator or a speaker button, call for help. Press the elevator’s alarm button to let others know you are stuck.

If there is room, try to stay away from the doors. This sounds counterintuitive. But if firefighters are trying to hack their way in, it might be safest to stand as clear as you can.

Lastly, if you’re stuck waiting in a residential or commercial elevator in DE, think of the story you want to tell your grandchildren or whoever is important in your life: I kept my cool, I followed instructions, I knew I was safe. That’s not the most exciting tale you’ll ever tell. But it might make good advice for whoever hears it.