When extreme weather hits, building owners rightfully make sure windows are closed and doors are secured. Property owners and managers often have lists of actions to take should the situation warrant more action. However, elevator pits are often overlooked. These areas are the lowest points of a building, so when storms threaten to flood roads and walkways, it is best to give some attention to the elevator pit.
What Are the Risks?
Flooding in the elevator pit could be the result of heavy rain, storm surges, and broken pipes. Once water gets into the pit, a lot of expensive equipment is at risk. For example, flood waters may contaminate the fluids used by the hydraulic machinery that operates some elevators. Any electric components within the pit could suffer from shorts or could lead to dangerous situations. Rust and other water damage could lead to unnecessary wear and tear on equipment.
Prevent Trouble Before the Storm
- Install a surge protection system.
- Maintain a standby power generation system.
- Protect doors to the machine room from corrosion and leaks.
- Develop a storm preparation process and practice drills.
What to Do When Water Rises
- Discontinue use of the elevators.
- Evacuate building occupants who rely on the elevator.
- Place sandbags around the machine room to keep water out.
- Cover all openings that lead to the shaft.
When the Storm Is Over
- Inspect elevators before you resume operation.
- Inspect machine room and pit to ensure they are dry and in appropriate operating condition.
- Accurately record information about any damage, including photographs.
- Contact your insurance company as necessary.
When Storms Are a Concern, Take Prompt Action
If your building is located in an area where heavy storms are a regular occurrence, it is important to have the right safety protocols in place. Be sure that you understand the risks to your guests and buildings, so that you’re able to create a preventative safety plan. Contact our company to learn more about the steps you can take to maintain safety before, during, and after flooding.