The Tower of Terror might be your idea of a fun Disney ride, but a real-life elevator drop is far from mine.
I remember us jamming ourselves in the tiny lift of my friend’s apartment building. We were packed in tight like a tin of sardines, 16 bodies occupying the teeny ten-person lift. Elbows dug into backs as we pressed our bodies against each other trying to fit in the close-knit space.
The lift moved slowly at first, before jolting to a stop between floors. Someone joked, “I think we’ve overloaded the lift”.
Seconds later, we were thrown into a panic as the lift plummeted towards the ground at a breakneck speed. I braced myself and tried to keep my footing, holding onto the side rail. I remember the look at my face in the reflection of the lift’s mirrored walls as we went down.
The lift fell a full 8 floors before hitting a buffer and coming to a halt. Somehow, miraculously, not one of us was hurt.
Mechanically speaking, lifts are one of the safest modes of human transportation. I would beg to differ, but statistically speaking, of the millions of lifts taken up and down by people every year, only about 20 to 30 lift-related fatalities occur.
When you stop and think about it, how many times have you caught a lift? If you work or live in a multistorey building you've likely taken the lift hundreds, probably thousands of times. And if you’ve ever been trapped in a lift or you’ve heard of a lift related horror story like mine, the chances are the occupant was at fault, for either being reckless or careless, or both!
There have been incidences where people have taken the indispensable technology of the lift for granted. Occupants have climbed out of a broken lift, stepped into an open lift shaft or have been so unlucky that their bag or scarf has been caught in a closing lift door.
Although a simple matter of basic machinery, just one lift holds the power to both frighten and kill us.
But the bottom line is, lifts are simply a matter of convenience and…we need them. Whether it’s for transporting heavy goods, for disability access or to avoid building stairwells in small underground spaces, a lift works to improve the value and accessibility of any property. As residential lifts are becoming more and more common it’s important to get the right fit for your next lift.
No matter how sophisticated the lift, it can still stall or develop mechanical problems. Most people understand a stalling lift is only temporary, but passengers tend to panic and instinctively assume the worst. Nobody likes being trapped in small spaces for extended periods, least of all with a bunch of strangers!
A simple mechanical malfunction in a lift, usually only involves a lift maintenance person to avoid any further catastrophe. The problem is, there aren’t many lift builders around and you don’t want just anyone doing the job.
Since you can’t install your own lift it’s important to choose wisely and select a company that is known to provide high-quality lifts, as well as installation and maintenance.
If you’re considering getting a lift installed in your office building, home or next project choose a company that is compliant with Australian design registration to avoid what could be a catastrophe.