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thyssenkrupp is currently putting the finishing touches on the installation of 30 elevators and 2 escalators that will serve 52 floors at River Point, a new office tower located on a prime piece of property overlooking the Chicago River.

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Elevators pits are one of the lowest points in a building so flooding caused by storm surges, excessive rain and even broken water pipes can flood the elevator pit. A host of equipment susceptible to water damage is fixed within the pit. If you have a hydraulic elevator, flood waters can contaminate the fluid needed to operate the equipment hydraulic elevators.  Here are some steps you can take to protect equipment when water is on the rise.  

Before the Storm Season

  • Ensure elevators have a surge protection system
  • Ensure the standby power generation system works
  • Check emergency lighting and phones
  • Map out the location of the elevators with car numbers
  • Inspect vents, windows and doors in the machine room for leaks
  • Replace corroded doors and add weather stripping around doors that open to the outside in the machine room
  • Check that sump pumps are operating or purchase one to use after the storm
  • Install a float switch to stop elevators from running to the bottom landing if the pit floods
  • Prepare a storm preparation process and run drills

When water is definitely on the rise

  • Never ride elevators during any kind of storm
  • Evacuate occupants who rely on elevators
  • Keep one elevator, serving all floors operational for emergency personnel and disabled persons
  • Run remaining elevators to the uppermost landings and cycle the doors shut
  • Turn off the main disconnects of the remaining elevators in the machine room
  • Place sandbags 4 feet high around the machine-room door
  • Shut or cover any vents or openings at the top of the shaft

After the Storm

  • Make sure no one is trapped in elevators. If they are, call emergency personnel
  • Don’t resume elevator operation until your elevator has a thorough inspection
  • Inspect machine room and pit for water
  • Check for water on control panels and in the machine room before restoring power
  • If water is found, call your elevator service company
  • Open any vents or openings at the top of the shaft
  • Record as much information about damage as possible
  • Take photographs of any damage
  • Save damaged components in case insurance companies need evidence

A word of caution: never try to reset elevators if the circuit is automatically cut as a preventative measure during a flood. Serious injury or damage could result. Instead, call your elevator service company immediately. 

Print this handy checklist 

 

 

 

 


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