You get the dreaded call that no one ever wants to receive; someone is stuck in one of your elevators. Being the property manager or maintenance person, it’s our job to figure out how to safely and quickly resolve the issue in a timely manner. What do you do in this situation? Anytime a passenger attempts to exit a stalled elevator, it can create a life-threatening situation. There are many incidents of injuries resulting from inexperienced people trying to escape a stalled elevator. Do you know if your existing mechanical door restricting device is working properly? If not, please call us so we can provide a safety check. This low-cost device or upgrade will prevent passengers from attempting to climb out of a stuck elevator without qualified assistance.

What do you do when someone is trapped in an elevator?

First, you should find out how many people are in the car. Then ask how they’re doing and if there are any emergencies that should be addressed. These are your residents or guests and the reason they are stuck is most likely not their fault. You must communicate that with them and engage with them to ensure their safety is first priority. Find out any information about what happened. If there are any emergencies call 911 and if there are no emergencies, call your elevator service provider. Be polite and thank the trapped people for their patience. The elevator cab is a very safe place.

It is important to tell the passengers what you are going to do each step of the way and give them updates. Be truthful so they have a realistic time frame. Reassure them they are safe and you are doing what is needed to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

Remember to tell the passengers to stay calm and not to try to get out of the elevator until they are instructed to do so. Again, reassure them that they are safe. Elevators are designed to be a safe place in these kinds of situations. Under no circumstance should the people in the car try to open the car door or ceiling hatch unless specifically directed to do so. Forcing the doors open can actually break the equipment, cause a delay in the rescue, and result in injuries. Let the passengers know it is okay to get comfortable and sit down.

Give the trapped passengers updates and find out how you can help them in the moment.

The best thing to do when there is a stalled elevator or entrapment, is to call for help and wait for the elevator company or fire department. Please let us know if you would like more information on door safety devices and related safety issues. Most low-rise installs are done in just a half day; a little longer for higher rises. This is a great investment for the safety of your passengers. Please call Tom Gibson, Sales Representative or Tony Belluscio, Vice President and General Manager at 610-738-4350 or email or We look forward to working together and making your business the most efficient it can be!