Elevators made it possible to build tall residential apartment buildings. In the 1950's, Soviet designers, building inexpensive post-war walk-up apartment buildings decided that five stories was as high as they could go.

There are a large number of older two-story walk-up rental apartment buildings in southern Ontario.

Tall condo towers are now the norm and we have become extremely dependent on elevators. In Asia they are called the Last Mile. After a long commute by car or public transit, when you get home, you face the Last Mile, the hopefully not too long wait for an elevator  and then stopping at floor after floor as people get on or off until you make it to your floor.

Elevators are very convenient and safe. Serious accidents are extremely rare but elevator entrapments, due to numerous safety features, occasionaly occur.

Best practices
Don't overload the elevator. If overloaded, the elevator may stop running.
Jumping up and down in the cab can trigger a sensor. Excess dirt or a small screw sitting in the bottom track can prevent the doors from closing and can trigger a breakdown. Forcing a door to stay open too long can trigger an alarm and then a sensor causing the elevator to go out of service.

Fire alarms
If there is a fire alarm, the elevators will immediately drop to the ground floor and the doors will open. They will not operate until they are manually reset.

When riding in the elevator, see if you notice:
Fixtures: Are the hall and elevator indicator lights and floor indicators, elevator car lights and ventilation fans working?
Doors: At stops, do the doors operate noisily? Do they scrap? Do the doors hit the passengers?
Starting & stopping: Do elevators hesitate at floors too long after the buttons are pressed? Do they start and stop abruptly or uncomfortably?
Leveling: Does the car level with the floor at each stop so passengers will not trip?
Ride: Do you hear squeaks and scrapes or feel vibrations when the elevators are running? Do the cars feel unbalanced?
Run times: Do the elevators appear to operate at different speeds during comparable runs?
Breakdowns: Are there excessive breakdowns?
Safety features: Does the emergency alarm or telephone operate?

If you experience any of the listed items it may mean that your elevators are not being maintained properly. Let the manager know by e-mail.

Old elevators will operate for decades if they are not abused, are properly maintained and components replaced when they reach the end of their life.

Broken elevators reaching 'crisis' proportions across Canada
Every day of the year, Canadians across the country are finding themselves trapped in faulty elevators, while countless more are suffering through inconvenience and isolation because of elevators that are out of service — and the problem is worsening, an investigation by The Canadian Press has found.

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