Trapped in lift? Wait for help, don't tamper with the doors

I empathise with the residents trapped in the Yishun lift when it broke down ("Renovation debris may have caused lift breakdown in Yishun"; Wednesday) as I had on a few occasions been trapped in HDB lifts.

It was a scary experience as I was uncertain when help would arrive.

Whenever we were trapped, the modus operandi was for one of us to call the emergency call centre number listed on the panel in the lift, press the alarm to attract attention and wait for the lift technician to arrive.

We would not try to prise open the lift doors as we understood that it could be dangerous to tamper with them.

I was surprised to read that in the cases mentioned, the residents tried to open the lift doors to set themselves or others free.

One of the interviewees was also concerned that younger children trapped inside may not know what to do.

Perhaps town councils should produce leaflets in the four official languages on the actions residents can take when they encounter a lift breakdown.

These can be distributed to residents and also displayed in the lifts for reference during a breakdown.

While we hope for breakdown-free lifts, it is impossible to expect machinery to work perfectly.

Some public education will, hence, go a long way towards preparing users for such emergencies.

Samantha Tay Boon Hiang (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2016, with the headline 'Trapped in lift? Wait for help, don't tamper with the doors'. Print Edition | Subscribe