Take Precautions to Mitigate Elevator Damage During Hurricane Season


Schindler Elevator Corporation recommends safety guidelines for before, during and after inclement weather occurs

MORRISTOWN, NJ, (September 16, 2020) – Hurricane season has arrived early this year, and with building and facility managers focused on the complex task of ensuring safe mobility in light of COVID-19, the threat of hazardous weather looms heavily. Fortunately, with proper precautions, it is possible to prevent elevator damage and protect building occupants before, during, and after harsh weather events. Schindler Elevator Corporation offers the following best practices – which can be implemented by elevator service providers – for preparing for inclement weather.

Ongoing Preparations
“The elevator machine room is a central area of vulnerability during harsh weather, with electrical panels at risk for taking in water,” says Jakub Glowacki, director of repair for Schindler Elevator Corporation. Before harsh weather arrives, Glowacki recommends the following actions to safeguard your operations:

  • Inspect the elevator machine room’s ventilation openings, windows and doors for possible rain leakage.
  • Install metal splash guards around ventilation openings to prevent leakage from reaching electrical panels.
  • If any machine room doors open to the outdoors, be sure to add weather stripping around them. 

At all times, ensure your designated security area has an updated  diagram showing the location of your elevators, car numbers and the  elevator car phone number. Your elevator company’s emergency phone  number should also be readily available, along with any required  numerical designations.

The Approaching Storm
When it becomes apparent that a storm will reach the area, Glowacki recommends the following immediate steps to prevent damage to elevator equipment:

  • Close all vents and openings at the top of the hoistway to prevent water from entering the elevator shaft.
  • If buildings have enclosed elevators, run each car to the center of the building, or to the top floor for two-story buildings. Elevators exposed to the outdoors should always be run to the floor below the top.
  • Once cars are parked appropriately, shut the elevator down with the keyed switch and close the doors to prevent unauthorized personnel from using the equipment.
  • Place the mainline disconnect in the "off" position to completely remove power from the elevator. Follow proper lock out / tag out (LOTO) procedures.

“Ensure you are familiar with your equipment’s emergency systems in the event that you must exit passengers quickly,” added Glowacki. “If you are uncertain about how to proceed at any point, Schindler personnel can help.”

Preparing for power issues is equally critical. Check your power systems for the following:

  • Ensure the elevator has a surge protection system.
  • If there is an emergency power generation system backup or an emergency return system for hydraulic, machine room less or traction elevators, make sure it is reliable.
  • Confirm that emergency lighting and elevator communications are also operable.

Most importantly, refrain from using an elevator during the weather event, as water can disable elevators and lead to passenger entrapments.

After The Storm
As soon as the weather has cleared, check for water on the control panels or in the machine room before restoring power. If water is found, contact your elevator service provider and do not resume operation until they have conducted a thorough inspection.

“These considerations and precautions must be established ahead of time, as weather conditions can be unpredictable,” explained Glowacki. “Develop a process to secure safety of the equipment and its occupants, and conduct practice sessions during low-demand hours in the presence of a supervisor within the facility, and/or trained elevator technician.”

To learn more about Schindler Elevator Corporation, please visit www.us.schindler.com.

About Schindler Elevator Corporation
Schindler Elevator Corporation is the North American operation of the Switzerland-based Schindler Group, a leading global mobility provider of elevators, escalators and related services. Schindler supports sustainable urban development with safe, reliable and sustainable mobility solutions, moving more than one billion people every day all over the world. Behind the company’s success are over 65,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please contact:

Kim Hoskins, PR & External Communications Manager
Schindler Elevator Corporation
Email: kim.hoskins@schindler.com
Tel: 973-397-3797

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Kim Hoskins
PR & External Communications Manager
Schindler Elevator Corporation

Email Media Contact - North America