Wednesday, February 24, 2021

10 points about safety and security regarding lifts in wake of mishaps: Elevators in residential colonies, localities and precautions


Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

First, Chief Minister got stuck in a lift. Now, a former chief minister too got stuck where the was a mishap involving a lift.

And, apart from them, a third incident when lift fell and several people including women, children got injured in a colony in Bhopal. 

The fact is that there are quite a lot of accidents involving lifts in India. Definitely, this is an aspect that needs attention. 

Lack of adequate focus on security regarding lifts, the quality & the compromises made in quality. When kids get trapped, its even more serious. Lift mishaps happen a lot, are reported less. Let's talk about it:

1. If lift suddenly stops and you are stuck inside it, the biggest problem is that often your mobile doesn't work inside and even if you shout, it takes time for people around to realise and then call help. In such circumstances, people who are inside the lift get panicky, so awareness about it is needed and dealing with it is important.

2. In Indian conditions, people get lifts installed but quality is often compromised. Regular maintenance is not there. In colonies, new buildings t hat have less flats occupied, the problem is more serious, because if someone is not close, your voice may not reach outside.

3. Always ensure that people in your locality know the protocol in this regard. I wish that lifts should always have a opening small window so that in case of emergency, you can shout or see outside, otherwise elders and ailing people suffer panic attack.

4. There are often situations when power goes off suddenly and lifts stop working. Is the system of power back up for lift, in order in your residential locality! This needs to be taken care of. It is really important.

5.  At some places alarm is not functional or the 'system' that connects lift to the other line and ensure smooth operations, was not in order. Power went off, lift stopped between floors, and hence gates couldn't open. Imagine!

6 . In colonies, your family members and maintenance office should always have the phone number of people who have the task to maintain the lift, the engineer, person who can rush fast and open a lift in case its gets stuck or any other security issue.

7. Recently, two incidents involving VIPs in lifts in Bhopal and Indore. Imagine, even in high security establishments, it takes time before action. So always ensure the lift is from a company that has good record, servicing.

8. There should be regular security audit of the lifts in the multi-storey buildings, proper check and the lift manufacturing company must take responsibility. Often to curtail expenses, there is a compromise in quality & later people suffer.

9. Then, certain other points that are not given attention, but they are equally important. For example, who has the 'key' that is used to open the lift in case of emergency? Is it with residential colony's maintenance office in your colony! And the duplicate key?

10.  Avoid using lift in old govt offices & buildings, especially, if the lift area is in a desolate corner &not many people seen in that part of the building. There are really bad incidents that keep getting reported from different parts of the country. Be aware, careful. Stay safe.

[Screen shot: Coverage of the incidents in Free Press, English newspaper]