Urban centers are undergoing cultural shifts. More people prefer to shop in multistory shopping complexes and live in high-rise building apartments.
With the widespread construction of high-risers (shopping malls, apartment complexes), the use of elevators in buildings has increased considerably.
But with this, lift-related accidents have also spiked up in recent years. Power outage is one of the major issues causing the lifts to stop midway and passengers becoming trapped inside.
Here are some recent events in the country where people’s lives were at risk due to elevator failures.
- On August 20, 2022, eight people, including six women, got trapped in a lift when it malfunctioned—people were rescued 2 hours later.
- In Noida, a senior couple got stuck on the 15th floor for ten minutes due to a power failure. To make the matter worse, there was no power backup as the diesel generator that provides emergency backup to the lift was also not working.
- On June 2022, six tenants, including a toddler of a multistory apartment in Techzone-4 of Greater Noida, were trapped in a lift for 15 minutes when it suddenly stopped due to a power cut. According to Adi Basana (one of the six people), the terrifying memory of those fifteen minutes will not leave him for the rest of his life.
- In Mumbai, 13 people, including children, were stuck in the lift of a supermarket. It took the rescuing team two hours to release the stranded passengers. Meanwhile, there was a huge tumult and hullabaloo as the children panicked.
- In another instance, an elderly Supertech Supernova resident got injured after a lift broke down and fell from the 34th floor to the 17th floor in a horrific free-fall. According to the woman’s son, she had to undergo treatment for a fracture and slipped disc.
The incidents of power failure, absence of power backup systems, and malfunctioning generators have become an everyday occurrence in the country. In 2019, lift-related accidents caused 28 deaths. And in 2021, 39 reported and countless unreported lift-related accidents jeopardized the passengers’ lives. It won’t be wide of the mark to say that when it comes to using lifts, passenger safety poses a big question mark!
India does not have a uniform safety lift act that can ensure maximum safety for the occupants. The government needs strict laws and policies that control how lifts are designed, constructed, and installed.
Individual state governments are taking action to make new laws and amend the existing ones to enhance people’s safety.
Recently, the Haryana government amended their “Haryana Lifts and Escalators Act, 2008,” requiring the owners of multistory buildings to install ERD (Emergency Rescue Device) in their lifts.This change should be appraised as a big step in ensuring public safety, especially when other states are still lagging.
What is an Emergency Rescue Device?
An Emergency Rescue Device (ERD) is a power backup device that powers the lift with a three-phase power supply during power outages. It is superior to the decades-old ARD (Automatic Rescue Device) technology that lacks the facility of power backup. With ARD, the lift stops and hangs in the middle of nowhere when the grid power stops.
With ERD, lift-car occupants cannot sense the power failure. The lift continues to operate smoothly without a slight jerk and takes you to your desired floor instead of stopping at any nearest floor
Some highlighting features or ERD technology include:
- Provides power backup for 15 minutes to a maximum of two days
- Provides jerk-free operation to the lift
- Compatible with lithium, SMF, and all other tubular batteries
- Prevents damage to elevators due to stopping jerks or excess currents
- Compatible with all top elevator manufacturing companies
- Works with solar power
- Comes with an electric control unit (ECU) system that shows the status of power and its backup
- Has BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) Certification
ERD is a game-changer technology. With an ERD device fitted in the lift, there is no chance for the passengers to become stranded in the lift. It can potentially eliminate all the chances of accidents involving power outages and lift failures. It is high time that all other states follow the footsteps of the Haryana state, mandating the use of ERD in all the lifts in their states.