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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. Initial PreparationsA 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 HitsIf 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 buildings 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 Ryan Kraven, repair 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 Kraven. “Ensure that the elevator has a surge protection system. If there is an emergency power generation system backup or an emergency return system for hydraulic, machine room-less or traction elevators make sure it is reliable. Finally ensure that emergency lighting and elevator communications are operable.” During a Storm and Once it Has PassedRefrain 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. To learn more about Schindler Elevator Corporation, please visit www.us.schindler.com. About Schindler Elevator CorporationSchindler Elevator Corporation is the North American operation of the Switzerland-based Schindler Group, a leading global mobility provider with approximately 44,000 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 and 2012, Schindler was named one of Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Innovative Companies, and three of the company’s products received the Architectural Products’ Product Innovation Award. For additional information about Schindler Elevator Corporation, visit the company’s Web site at www.us.schindler.com.