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· Schindler offers advice to building and facility managers on how to protect elevator equipment and occupants in the event of a storm
· Precautions include helpful safety guidelines for before, during and after inclement weather occurs
MORRISTOWN, NJ – During a season in which weather can be potentially hazardous, it’s important that building and facility managers take the proper precautions to help prevent elevator damage and protect the safety of building occupants. Schindler Elevator Corporation offers the following tips to consider before, during and after weather-related events. For questions or assistance, customers should contact their elevator service provider for implementation of these and other safety measures.
A diagram showing the location of your elevators, car numbers and the elevator car phone number should be in your designated security area. In addition, you should have your elevator company’s emergency phone number available along with any required numerical designations.
Before any inclement weather happens, building and facility managers can start by inspecting the elevator machine room’s ventilation openings, windows and doors for possible rain leakage. If, during the inspection, water leakage is found, prevent water from reaching electrical panels by installing metal splash guards around ventilation openings and weather stripping around any machine room doors that open to the outdoors.
Before a Storm Hits
If a storm is near, there are steps that should be taken immediately to prevent damage to elevator equipment. The first step is to close all vents and openings at the top of the hoistway to prevent water from entering the elevator shaft. Next, barricade the machine room, and be sure that no occupants are left in the building that are reliant on elevators for egress. “If buildings have elevators that are enclosed, managers should run each car to the center of the building, or to the top floor for two-story buildings,” says Josh Elliott, a product line manager at Schindler. “Elevators exposed to the outdoors should always be run to the floor below the top. After cars are parked appropriately, shut the elevator down with the keyed switch and close the doors to prevent unauthorized personnel from using the equipment. In addition, place the mainline disconnect in the "off" position to completely remove power from the elevator. Schindler personnel can provide assistance if a customer is unsure of what to do.”
While parking elevators and preventing unauthorized use is important, preparing for power problems is a necessity. “Since today’s elevator equipment is built with so many electrical components, there are emergency systems to become familiar with if there’s a need to exit passengers quickly,” adds Elliott. “Ensure that the elevator has surge protection or is operating with a reliable emergency power generation system backup, or an emergency return system for hydraulic, machine room-less or traction elevators and make sure emergency lighting and a telephone are operable.”
During a Storm and Once it Has Passed
Refrain from using an elevator at all due to the water or wind-driven water that can disable elevators and lead to dangerous passenger entrapments. Once skies are officially clear, check for water on the control panels or in the machine room before restoring power. If water is found, don’t resume operation until the elevator service provider provides a thorough inspection.
Because weather conditions can be unpredictable, Schindler recommends facility and building managers take these precautions and set up a process ahead of time in order to secure safety of the equipment and its occupants. Practice sessions should be conducted during low-demand hours of the elevator system and in the presence of a supervisor within the facility, or trained elevator technician.
For additional information on preparation tips or to learn more about Schindler Elevator Corporation, please visit www.us.schindler.com.
About Schindler Elevator Corporation
Schindler Elevator Corporation is the North American operation of the Switzerland-based Schindler Group, a leading global mobility provider with approximately 43,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries. Schindler supports sustainable urban development with safe, reliable and ecologically sound mobility solutions and its equipment moves one billion people every day all over the world. In 2011, Schindler was named one of Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Innovative Companies, and two of the company’s products received the 2011 Architectural Products’ Product Innovation Award. For additional information about Schindler Elevator Corporation, visit the company’s Web site at www.us.schindler.com.