Do-It-Yourself Rodent Control

Why Elevators Don't Plunge

Elevators are an easy way for people to travel between several floors of buildings very quickly. There are some minor hazards that can arise when using an elevator, but they almost never plunge a car full of people down the shaft and into the dark abyss. If you've ever wondered why this type of accident is so rare, it's all thanks to the use of an advanced brake and cabling system that's found in almost all modern buildings and their elevator systems.


Steel cables are used to hold an elevator and work on a sort of pulley system. This material is extremely strong, and many elevators use anywhere from two to eight cables per car. Because of the strength of woven steel, it's highly unlikely that these cables will snap. Since the elevator car has more than one cable attached to it, even if one were to break, there are plenty more there to serve as a back up. Each individual cable can hold more than the weight of the car to accommodate passengers and any items on the elevator. Factor that by the number of cables, and you're more than safe when it comes to their ability to hold everything up from falling. Cables are checked regularly to ensure that they are in good shape and there is no fraying or wear and tear. If there is, technicians will make an assessment and most likely replace them.


Aside from the steel cable pulley system, elevators rely on a braking system to help with emergency situations. The brakes clamp down when power is lost to the elevator's motorized brakes. This serves as a backup emergency brake that ensures the elevator stops fairly quickly. There is also another brake underneath an elevator's passenger carriage known as a safety brake. In the event that the elevator begins to fall, this brake is engaged and goes into the guide rails within the elevator shaft. It consists of metal rods that will extend outward if it detects an elevator car moving downward too quickly. These rods create friction, which makes the stopping slow, but effectively preventing an abrupt slamming stop. Much of this technology is the same that was being used in elevators over 100 years ago. Some of the materials that are now being used may have changed, but the concept and science of keeping people safe in elevators has remained constant. 

If you own an elevator that requires maintenance, contact Capital Elevator Services Inc.