How to Handle Elevator Operations During Bad Weather

From winter storms to hurricanes to thunder storms, it’s important that you know how to handle elevator operations during all types of bad weather. No matter where you are located in the United States, there is always some kind of foul weather to contend with. Having a plan in place is the best way to avoid damage and ensure continuity of service.

Handling an Elevator in Bad Weather

Advanced Preparations

Are you trudging headlong into a notoriously bad weather season, such as winter in the northeast or tornadoes in the mid-west? You can prepare for all possible scenarios ahead of time.

  • A big part of this is ensuring you engage in regular service and maintenance. This will tip you off to any potential problems that should be addressed sooner rather than later.
  • Post a diagram in public areas that show the location of your elevators, the car numbers, and the phone number for security.
  • Check all elements of your elevators regularly to ensure proper operation of vents, windows and doors.
  • Be on the lookout for leaks.

What You Should Do When a Storm is Coming

Make sure you’re familiar with your elevators’ emergency systems so you can evacuate passengers quickly if need be. Make sure you have a surge protection system in place as well as an emergency power generation system backup or an emergency return system.

Run through this checklist as you prepare for winter storms:

  • Inspect your emergency lighting and elevator communications situations as well.
  • Close all vents and openings at the hoist way to prevent water infiltration.
  • Close the machine room.
  • Make sure no one is in the building who can’t get out without the use of elevators.
  • Send all enclosed elevators to the building’s center, or to the top floor in a two-story building.
  • All exposed elevators should return to the floor directly beneath the top floor.
  • Shut every elevator down when you are certain they are at the right floor position.
  • Close all doors so unauthorized personnel can’t access the elevators and equipment.
  • Switch off the mainline disconnect so there is no power to the elevators.

What to do When the Storm is Happening

Do not allow anyone to use the elevators when the storm is active, as leaks can result in entrapment due to disabled cars and electrical storms can pose an electrocution risk. Keep in mind that if the storm is a hurricane or tornado, structural damage could occur so be sure to always take precautions before doing any work in or around the elevator.

Once the storm has passed…

Don’t turn the elevators back on until you’re sure there is no water on the control panels or in the machine room. Call your elevator service provider for a full inspection of the units before you decide to restore power. Mowrey Elevator is well qualified to assist you with any needs you may have before, during and after a storm. Give us a call at one of our many convenient locations.