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What you thought you knew about elevators debunked


Aug. 30, 2017

By Matthew Pike

Chances are at some point in your life you’ve watched a movie where an elevator rope has broken causing the elevator car to fall down the shaft at high speeds and wondered if it could happen to you. Do you know the truth?

The majority of elevator or escalator components are hidden from public view causing myths and misconceptions leaving much to the imagination of a passenger. I’d like take this opportunity to debunk a few falsehoods and that will restore your feelings regarding the overall safety of the equipment.

Myth #1: Many people believe elevators are held up by only one rope that could break, leaving passengers in a free-falling car.

Truth: Elevators are supported by multiple steel cables and each cable alone can support a fully loaded car. KONE’s UltraRope™ is a product that can replace the traditional steel cabling found in many units. KONE UltraRope™ is a very light weight rope technology that provides unrivaled elevator eco-efficiency, reliability and durability while also improving elevator performance. It can enable an elevator to travel to heights of up to 3,300 feet which is three times the height of the Chrysler building in New York!

Myth #2: Some people believe that an overcrowded elevator will fall.

Truth: An overloaded car will normally not move. The doors will stay open and a buzzer may ring until enough people get off the elevator to reduce the weight. Many elevators are equipped with technology that will effectively distribute riders to prevent overcrowding such as found in KONE’s Destination Solutions.

Myth #3: It isn’t necessary to pay attention to escalators.

Truth: In reality, an escalator requires the same level of attention as a moving automobile. An escalator is a six-ton machine that constantly revolves. Riders must avoid loose clothing, untied shoelaces, high heels, long hair, jewelry and any other items that could become caught in the moving components. A rider should also demonstrate safe riding practices such as holding the handrail, facing forward and keeping feet a safe distance from the side of the step. KONE has created a game to teach children safe escalator and elevator riding practices.

Not all that you see in entertainment is true – elevators and escalators are designed with many safety features that protect passengers, however it is the responsibility of the passenger to ride safely. We are committed to safety and work closely with the people who rely on our products for safe and smooth transport as they go about their day. Safe elevator and escalator use is a joint effort between the passengers that use the equipment and owners who oversee equipment use.

About Matthew Pike

Matt is the Director of Passenger Safety for KONE Americas.

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