What to Do If You Get Trapped In An Elevator

The thought of getting stuck in an elevator is one that has crossed all of our minds. In fact, you’re more likely to get struck by lightning than be trapped in an elevator. However if you do happen to get caught between floors one day don’t worry, we have the definitive guide to help you navigate the situation.

1. Stay Calm

Lifts are designed to be fail safe. If the systems detect an anomaly which could be one of the thousands of components or one of its operating systems not acting as it was designed to, instead of continuing to run the lift will stop! Therefore being “trapped in the lift” is the safest place for you if a problem is detected.

2. Use the emergency lift phone to contact help

Most modern elevators are fitted with an emergency lift phone which is fitted to a button on the car operating panel (panel with all of the buttons on it). It looks something like this:

Push the button and clearly communicate your predicament. You may be asked for the following pieces of information;

  • Your name
  • Your mobile phone number
  • The address of where you’re located and the lift number you are in

The address of the building and lift number will be on a plate on or near to the button panel, newer lifts will have an automated system to tell the lift call centre these details. Wait until a trained technician arrives to help.

3. Don’t leave the elevator

NEVER – try to force the doors open and alight from the lift as it may not be at the floor level and may begin to operate again whilst you are trying to alight. THIS IS A POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. Being trapped in the lift car is not.

If you’re worried about the elevator falling, don’t be. It’s a commonly believed myth that elevators are held up by only one rope. In truth, elevators are held by multiple steel cables, each of which are up to the tas of supporting a full elevator car. So whatever you do, don’t leave the elevator, being inside the car is the safest place you can be.

So what should you do while trapped in an elevator?

4. Meditate

It’s important to stay calm should you become trapped in an elevator. There’s no better way to find inner peace than to meditate. Stressful situations creates agitation, which can lead to anxiety and panic. Meditation is a great way to counter this as studies have shown it allows you to regulate your emotions to stay calm.

5. Nap

If meditation isn’t your thing, or at the very least you find yourself nodding off in the process, just catch a couple of Z’s instead. According to the National Sleep Foundation napping can restore alertness, which is handy if you’re in a stressful situation. Psychological benefits of napping include a feeling of rejuvenation.

6. Improve your social skills

If you happen to be trapped in an elevator with other people this could be the perfect chance to work on your social skills. Think of this situation like a very intimate version of Toastmasters. Not sure how to strike up conversation? When it comes to having something interesting in common to start a conversation, getting trapped in an elevator is a pretty good one.

7. Get your life admin in order

Life admin, am I right? The cornerstone of successful adulting, though getting around to it can be harder for some than others. Catching up on emails, paying your bills, writing a list of odd jobs to be done around the home, filing your tax return, deleting embarrassing photos from your Facebook profile. If you want to get the most out of your time while stuck in an elevator, you may as well get your life in order.

8. Establish a pee corner

Look, when nature calls you have to heed it. Unless your lift has a built-in lavatory, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands…

Want to learn more about elevators? You can contact the team at Liftronic, Australia’s number one elevation company. In operation since 1985, Liftronic provides a wide range of services including design, supply, installation, maintenance and modernisation of almost any type of lift for residential, commercial, industrial or healthcare applications. Contact our team today to learn more.


Liftronic Pty Limited is Australia's most reliable vertical transport supplier. With almost 40 years in the industry, our team shares the latest insights on the world of elevators, escalators and everything else that takes us to new heights.