While Hurricanes are unavoidable, taking the following steps are recommended to reduce the risk of damage to the elevator.
Prior to Hurricane Season – April & May:
- Check the operation of all vents and opening in the machine room and hoistway walls to insure proper operation. This is to insure that driving rain will not blow through the vents.
- Check to make sure all doors, vents and other opening are properly caulked and sealed to prevent water intrusion. Make sure any fire rated doors are not corroded as this may affect the fire rating and structural integrity of the door.
- Inspect and or consider installing an emergency battery lowering system.
- Check all sump pumps, float switches and alarms to insure proper operation.
Preparation before a hurricane:
- Recheck all sump pumps, float switches and alarms in the elevator pits.
- Close up all vents and openings in the top hoistway and machine room to prevent water intrusion. If the machine room is air conditioned you shouldn’t have vents, except for emergencies. Also be mindful that vent closing in the machine room should be done at the last stage of your preparation as the equipment can heat up much faster than you might think.
- Elevators that open to the outside will need to have sand bags placed along the bottom of the hoistway doors. Since this makes the elevator unusable, do this just before shutting down the elevator.
- In your designated security area you should have a diagram of the location of your elevators, the car numbers, as well as the elevator car phone numbers, and your elevator company’s emergency number.
During a hurricane:
- Run elevator to either the center of the hoistway for a traction elevator and to the top floor for hydraulic elevators.
- Pull the main breaker in the machine room. This will prevent an unauthorized person from moving the elevator, prevent severe damage caused by short circuits from wet circuitry, or voltage surges, spikes or dips.
- After the equipment is dried out it can be quickly restarted by the mechanic with little or no damage.
- Park elevators with doors closed. This will prevent debris from entering the hoistway and anyone from inadvertently getting trapped.
- Do not operate the elevator during the Hurricane.
After a hurricane:
- Inspect pit, cab, machine room for indication of water. If water found call elevator company.
- Do not attempt the start elevator if the power is out.
- Ask your elevator contractor for an inspection of the elevators.