While it may seem like a good time to jump up and down in an elevator when it’s moving between floors, it can actually be quite dangerous. A video shows a man walking into an elevator in his apartment building in China. He pushes the button and the doors close. Pretty standard procedure for riding an elevator. Then things take a bizarre turn.
Perhaps because he was alone or because of pure boredom, the man begins to bounce up and down, just a little bit at first, then a bit more aggressively. What could go wrong, right?
Then he really gets going… and then the elevator stops moving and the doors open. He sees that the partially open doors reveal that the car has stopped midway between floors and he’s stuck. He appears to be a bit stunned by this discovery and maybe is thinking that all that bouncing wasn’t such a solid plan. It’s quite a life lesson that’s playing out before his eyes.
As the video ends, it looks like he’s still uncertain about what to do. According to reports, he was able to call police for help, but there was no further reporting about whether he would have to pay for the damage.
This type of cautionary tale perfectly illustrates the need for the 2016 public awareness campaign about elevator safety that the NY Daily News covered at the time. New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler discussed the “Stay Safe. Stay Put” campaign, running through some common procedures should you find yourself stuck in an elevator.
While in this case, the man in the video caused the elevator to stop because of his jumping, in some cases an elevator may malfunction, leaving riders worried about when they’ll be rescued. Chandler advised that the elevator’s alarm button should be pushed in this case or that anyone stuck can use their cell phone to call the emergency number on the elevator plate or they can dial 911 for assistance.
He assured that in New York City, anyway, “If somebody gets stuck, someone is going to respond in a timely way,” so there’s no need to panic about getting safely off of the elevator. He also advised people not to try and pry open the elevator door, but instead to move toward the rear center of the car while waiting for someone to provide assistance.
Notably, since this video shows what can happen with jumping in an elevator, Chandler discussed that you shouldn’t jump up and down or do anything with the doors, which could impact the brake system or shift the car and make it more difficult for rescuers to get to you. He explained: “People have gotten caught between the floors when the car started moving as they started to get out, and you know how horrible that must have been.”
As for the fear of a sudden free-fall in an elevator, Chandler assured: “That is just not going to happen. My experts here have never heard of a case of that happening.”