Poor emergency response to lift breakdowns worrying

The spate of lift breakdowns in HDB estates - four breakdowns in two days - is worrisome (BCA warning after spate of lift breakdowns; June 10).

This strongly indicates a lack of regular checks and maintenance, resulting in the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) having to step in to ensure that lift owners and contractors exercise responsibility in delivering the maintenance requirements.

However, what is more disconcerting than the breakdowns is the seeming lack of a duty of care in ensuring that trapped passengers have access to help.

In the case of the lift breakdown in Jalan Membina, the lift alarm did not work and a call to the emergency number received no response.

This indicates a systemic problem.

Being trapped in a lift without ventilation can be life-threatening if help is not rendered on time.

Hence, besides regular checks and maintenance, the standard operating procedure in case of a breakdown must be tested to ensure that it is functioning and strictly adhered to.

Being trapped in a lift without ventilation can be life-threatening if help is not rendered on time.

In the Jalan Membina case, those responsible for the faulty alarm system and failure in responding to the emergency call must be taken to task. Such irresponsible acts are unpardonable.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Poor emergency response to lift breakdowns worrying'. Print Edition | Subscribe