Hurricane Matthew and most recently Hurricane Harvey taught us that we can never be over prepared for hurricanes. The Carolinas are no exception to hurricanes, and building and home owners need to prepare their elevators for this hazard.
Today storms bring the potential of extreme winds, higher tides, and a great risk of flooding. Being prepared before the storm hits is critical to protect your elevator investment and protect all elevator passengers.
Many of today’s elevators have emergency power back-up generators or batteries to lower the elevator in the event of a power outage. It is important to check these systems for proper operation. If your hydraulic elevator does not have a battery back-up system we would recommend adding one.
Other pre-hurricane checklist items include:
- A diagram showing the location of all elevators, complete with car numbers and telephone numbers should be placed in a designated security area. Elevator company emergency number should also be posted.
- Inspection should be made concerning all ventilation openings in the machine room. All windows and doors should be examined for possible leakages. Protection should be installed to protect electrical equipment including but limited to splash guards, weather stripping, etc.).
- Inspect Seismic protection for proper operation. Much of North and South Carolina require the elevator to have Seismic protection. During heavy wind storms, this can help to protect the elevator. Check to make sure seismic protection is working as required.
- Check all float switches as provided in the pit area
- Inspect fire rated doors and hoistway door tracks for corrosion. Corrosion can have a negative impact on the doors’ fire protection and the structural integrity of the elevator entrance system.
- Test all emergency communication systems, including elevator emergency phones for proper operation.
The following activities should be completed before the storm:
- Secure all vents and openings to the machine room and elevator hoistway
- Run each elevator to the center of the building or top floor for hydraulic elevators
- After each car is parked, shut down the elevator with the keyed switch in the elevator and close the doors to prevent unauthorized access.
- Place the machine disconnect in the “Off” position and properly tag to completely remove power to the elevator system.
- If elevator is exposed to the outside place sand bags around first floor entrance.
During the Storm
Storms are unpredictable, therefore refrain from using the elevator during the storm and until everything has been checked out by your elevator technician. Contact your elevator service company immediately after storm to set-up an inspection.
Charter Elevator company has operations in both North and South Carolina and are no strangers to the hazards of hurricanes. Our trained technicians are your home town experts and are happy to assist you through all the pre and post hurricane activities. Simply contact us today at 877-632-4278 or at www.charterelevator.com.