November 11 2015 0Comment

Behind Closed Doors

The reason I started this blog was because I was asked on more than one occasion, what happens when you service a lift, frankly, “what does go on behind closed doors”. I can see when the window cleaner has been as the windows are clean, I can see when the postman has been as there is mail on the mat, I can see when the gardeners have been as the lawns are cut. So how do we know when the lift engineer has been and just what has he/she done?

In this my first blog I will not go into the technicalities of what is done more the principle of what is done.

The lift shaft is a vertical rectangular space which by the action of the lift moving, both draws air into the shaft and exhales air out of the shaft. On the influx of air comes dirt and grime and on the exhale much of the same. When the doors open and close there is more opportunity for dust and small objects to enter the shaft often through the gap between the two floor tracks. It almost seems a law of physics that anything dropped within 200 millimetres of the entrance will fall down through the gap. Anything from keys, money, important documents and the baby’s dummy, they all end up somewhere in the lift shaft.

You would think it would all just drop to the floor of the shaft, commonly known in the trade as the “pit”. This is unfortunately not true as there are many nooks and crannies in the lift shaft where things lodge themselves. The lift pit is not a pleasant area, but it is imperative it is cleaned regularly as rubbish does present a fire hazard.

Dust and grime will also build up anywhere there is grease or oil, both of which are used to lubricate the moving parts of the lift. I have seen guide rails that looked like they had a beard and once again because the grime was impregnated with oil, it could potentially catch fire.

The top of the lift car is also somewhere, where things get lodged and needs to be cleaned regularly.

Well you have probably gathered from the above, the lift engineer’s environment can be quite grimy and potentially dangerous. It is one of their functions to ensure the lift shaft stays clean and reduce the risk of fire. My fitter, when I was training, always told me that I was not a cleaner but a risk prevention technician. So armed with my dust pan and brush and plenty of rag and cleaning fluid, I took pride in ensuring that our lift shafts were clean and free from potential hazards all this done and no clients could see my hard work “behind those closed doors”. My personal satisfaction was that I averted potential fires and other hazards on a daily basis as well as keeping the lift running.

Next time I will go over the way the doors lock and therefore keep the public safe from falling into the lift shaft.

I hope you can take time to read “what goes on behind closed doors” when I post again in a fortnight.

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