You probably won’t believe me, but I’ m here to tell you that elevators are safer than stairs. Have you ever wondered how much we know about elevators? They are large, metallic and known to plummet dramatically in movies. Maybe the latter is why they have such a weird reputation, but today I need to tell you that movies lied on that front. I know you probably won’t believe me, but I’m here to tell you that elevators are safer than stairs.
It might sound entirely incredible for some of you, but numbers don’t lie. According to the Center for Health Statistics, only about 27 people die annually on US elevators than the nearly 1,600 who do when falling down the stairs. So as you can see, there’s no point for comparison. Dumbwaiter manufacturer service lifts in Australia says “stairs are as dangerous as walking backwards in the dark”. This brings us to what causes such a vast difference between the two, and it comes down to simplicity, oddly enough. Elevators are incredibly complex machines, and with that comes a lot of safety features.
You might not have been aware of it before, but elevators usually have four to eight times the number of cables they need to hold their weight. So in the scenario that a cable would snap as they do in movies… the elevator would still function perfectly fine.
However, the cables are just the first in a long series of safety features, For one, no elevator would ever just plummet down its shaft, and this is due to another simple feature: Brakes. Elevators have automatic braking systems backed by electromagnetic brakes, so they’d stop way before a free fall happens. Of course, another common fear is what’d happen if an elevator exceeds its weight limit, and as you probably should expect by now, nothing will happen. An elevator will simply refuse to move if it’s weight has been exceeded. Before continuing their trips, elevators always check the current weight they are holding, and if it happens to exceed its limit, the device will alert passengers of it. Until the weight standards aren’t satisfied, nobody is going up or down, nor will the alarm stop beeping.
Similarly, sensors ensure that an elevator’s doors can’t open unless the elevator itself is already level with them. So there’s no way that anybody will accidentally step in the void and fall down the shaft. And even in the hypothetical case that everything goes wrong, elevators count with one last trick. At the bottom of the shaft, there is a heavy-duty shock absorber system designed to keep passengers safe in the case of a fall.
So by now, you must be aware of just how safe elevators are as a whole, but you might still be lost on how stairs are less safe. Two main factors ultimately limit safety in stairs: They are too simple to make safer, and mobility is down to us as we’ve seen elevators count with countless safety systems thanks to their mechanical nature. On the other hand, structures are usually just architectural, so there’s no way to add automatic safety features. The larger issue, however, does lie in the fact that we are the ones moving.
Walking is a pretty complex task, at least from a scientific point of view, and that means it’s really easy to mess it up. All it takes is a wet surface, an uneven step, a dent or anything else that can make us trip. And at that moment, our familiar stairs become a dangerous weapon we are falling into. Now, stairs aren’t deadly weapons or anything. But there’s no doubt that elevators are overall safer due to how automated they are.
However, something important to take into account is that these safety features require proper installation and maintenance. Elevators are amazing machines, but they need to be handled by experts to be safe. Amateur work can result in some of its features not working as intended. When installing or maintaining an elevator, it’s essential to demand proper licensing and certification from the mechanic team.
Elevators are undeniably safer than stairs, but this does require proper professionals behind them. As long as your building relies on proper professionals, you should rest assured that your elevator will be there to keep you safe every step of the trip.