How to Escape a Stuck Elevator With or Without Help

The worst nightmare for claustrophobic people - and most people, really - is being stuck in an elevator. In an emergency situation like this one comes some important do's and don'ts. Check them out to be prepared if this ever happens to you.

Bright Side has prepared some important notes on how to behave in a situation like this and how to escape the elevator if necessary.

Stay calm.

In any emergency situation, anybody will tell you that panicking can be far more destructive than the disaster itself. While being locked in an elevator:

  • Try to breathe normally. If you fall into panic mode you can experience oxygen deficiency since elevators are not properly ventilated.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Calm your heart rate by standing up straight or using the "superman pose".

Call for help.

Before doing anything, try to call for help using the button that is marked with the bell. However, if the electricity doesn't work, this may not be an option.

  • Let other people know you're stuck by making as much noise as possible.
  • Take a shoe off and bang on the metal parts of the elevator door.
  • Yell out for help.

People outside cannot only call for help, but they can tell you your precise location in case you'll need to escape the elevator by yourself.

Find the light source.

If the electricity is off, try to find a light source - it may calm down the sense of panic and help you navigate better since it will help you see the buttons.

  • Use your phone. Usually, every newer smartphone has a light-on switch.
  • If you have a flashlight keychain, you can use that too.
  • Do not use a lighter since it's not only hazardous, but it will use up the oxygen you need.

Call reception.

If the call button doesn't wok, do not rush to a DIY escape. First, try calling the reception desk of the building or an emergency number, like "911" - it is largely used in the US and other countries for emergencies, but you'd better check your own country's specific emergency number. It can also be found on the wall of the elevator or on the button board.

Try buttons to open the door.

If the elevator is stuck on one of the floors and just won't open:

  • Don't keep pushing the button of the floor you wanted previously.
  • Try pressing the button of the floor you're stuck at.
  • If that doesn't work, try the "open door" button.

Have patience.

If help is on the way or you know somebody is coming to get you, try to occupy yourself with the following:

  • Have a chat.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Play games on your smartphone.
  • If the above won't work for you, try thinking of a list of things you need to do or how to rework your schedule to fit in this minor setback.

Push the "stop" button.

Now, if there is a medical or other valid type of emergency, that means you may need to escape the elevator on your own.

  • Determine if you absolutely need to escape on your own.
  • Press the "stop" button.
  • If it's stuck, pull it out and press it again.

This lets you know that the elevator won't start moving while you are on your way out.

Make an escape plan.

First of all, make sure the elevator is not in between floors or in any other awkward position.

Then do the following:

  • Try forcing the elevator doors open.
  • Re-check the position of the elevator car.
  • Pull the interlock holding the shaft door closed and after that, open the door.
  • Get out of the elevator car.
  • Help other passengers.

We hope you found this article helpful and that you never find yourself in such a horrible situation. Suggest in the comments which situations you would love to read about escaping next?

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