Understanding basic home elevator safety is important for any household with a residential elevator. While safe and effective, home elevators do need to be operated with care. It’s important that you, your family, and any visitors know how to operate the elevator properly. This is especially true for children, who often find homes with elevators fascinating.
With that in mind, here are seven safety rules for home elevators. Most are simple, easy-to-follow tips to keep you safe and your elevator in proper working order.
1. Consider Elevator Safety from the Beginning
Your choice of elevator model and installation company has an important impact on elevator performance and safety. Elevators installed by inexperienced companies are more likely to have mechanical problems and require more visits from residential elevator repair technicians. It’s well worth the cost to invest in a high-quality product installed by elevator contractors with proven track records for building and installing home elevators.
2. Deal with Maintenance Issues Immediately
Like any other mechanical device, home elevators occasionally require maintenance. It is best to set up maintenance twice a year, however, if you hear squealing or squeaking noises during operation, if the elevator ride seems less smooth, if you smell odd odors in the car, or if you suspect there’s any kind of mechanical problem, make a residential elevator repair appointment. Home elevators come with multiple safety features, but it never hurts to be cautious. Besides, resolving small problems before they grow into serious issues will save you money over the life of the elevator.
3. Familiarize Yourself with Your Elevator's Emergency Features
When you first get your elevator, take some time to read the instruction manual and familiarize yourself with all relevant emergency features. For instance, you should know what to do should you be in the elevator during a power outage. Make sure all family members understand how to act if they’re in the elevator during an emergency.
4. Know What to Do if You’re Stuck in a Home Elevator
It can be alarming if an elevator stops between floors. If this happens, don’t panic. While Hollywood constantly shows action heroes forcing open elevator doors in such situations, this is not a safe solution as the elevator may start to move while you’re trying to get out. Instead, your home elevator should have an emergency phone installed. Call an emergency operator, who will send a residential elevator repair technician to get you out. It is also a good idea to talk to the company installing your elevator to make sure you have any after hour emergency contact information you may need.
5. Pay Attention to Elevator Weight Requirements
One of the most important elevator safety features is the car’s weight requirements. While commercial elevators have no problem holding 1,500 to 6,000 pounds, home elevators typically can only hold between 400 to 1,000 pounds, although some models can handle up to 1,400 pounds with a variance. Overloading an elevator can cause cables to break or elevator doors to remain open. Understand your elevator’s weight limits and pass that knowledge on to anyone who might use it.
6. Enter and Exit Carefully
It’s always wise to be careful when entering or exiting an elevator, especially if you have mobility issues. Be careful to avoid tripping, and move well away from the doors as they close. Hold the elevator’s handrail as you move between floors, and wait until the doors open completely before exiting the car.
7. Talk to Kids about Proper Elevator Use
To an adult, a residential elevator is a practical, stylish way to navigate between different levels. To kids, it’s a fun-looking toy, rather like having a fairground ride right in the house. The temptation to play in an elevator is too much for some kids to resist, especially if they’re just visiting the house.
It’s important to impress upon children that an elevator is not a toy, and that there is a right and wrong way to ride one. Demonstrate proper elevator use, and explain that roughhousing or jumping in the elevator can cause mechanical problems.
Choosing a Residential Elevator
The best way to ensure your home elevator is safe is to choose the highest-quality product possible, and to have it installed and maintained by a trusted, experienced elevator installation company. The right elevator for you depends on your needs, your living space, and your budget. Check out the different types of elevator today, then contact an experienced Symmetry Elevator authorized dealer to help you choose the right solution for your lifestyle and home.