If you are a building manager, it is important for you to know how to protect elevator equipment and occupants during bad weather. As a safety precaution, there are guidelines to follow for before, during, and after inclement weather.
When weather can be potentially hazardous, building managers need to take the proper precautions to help prevent elevator damage and protect the safety of the building occupants.
You should keep a diagram that shows the location of your elevators, car numbers, and the elevator phone number in the designated security area. Also keep your elevator company’s emergency phone number available. Before bad weather strikes, you should inspect the elevator machine room’s ventilation openings, windows, and doors for possible leakage areas. If any water leakage is found, prevent it 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 you know a storm is coming, there are steps that need to be taken immediately to prevent damage to the elevator equipment. First, you should 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. Enclosed elevators should be run to the center of the building, or to the top floor in a two-story building. Elevators that are exposed to the outdoors should be run to the floor below the top floor. Once the elevator cars are at the correct floor, shut them down with the keyed switch and close the doors to prevent unauthorized personnel from using the equipment. You should also place the mainline disconnect in the “off” position to completely remove power from the elevator.
During the Storm and After the Storm
Refrain from using an elevator at all during the storm. If water leaks in while the elevators are in use it could disable them and cause dangerous passenger entrapments. After the storm is over, check for water on the control panels or in the machine room before restoring the power. If you do find water, don’t resume operation of the elevators until the elevator service provider inspects it.