A Guide to Elevator Security
By Sam Moxey
May 06, 2020
When considering the security of your business premises, it is vital to think about all aspects, including any passenger lifts you may have in the building. It often comes as a surprise, but the fact is that a great deal of opportunistic crime occurs in lifts, making elevator security vitally important to take steps to secure them. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to do just that.
If your elevator is only supposed to be used by authorised individuals, such as the residents of a domestic dwelling, or the occupants of a commercial building, then the only way to ensure this happens is with an access control system. These systems are also perfect for regulating access to particular floors of a building which may perhaps be dedicated to sensitive or confidential operations, or set aside for storage of restricted materials.
Elevator access control systems are usually operated by a key card. Once inside the elevator, the user selects the appropriate floor, then scans their card to prove they have access to that particular floor. Cards can be programmed to allow access to just a single floor, or a combination of floors as required.
CCTV acts as both a deterrent for would-be criminals, and assists surveillance staff in keeping track of what is going on inside the lift. Smart, wireless CCTV systems are ideal for use in elevators.
Easy to install without the need for hard wiring, these systems relay images in real time, quickly alerting security personnel to any situations that may need immediate attention.
If a problem arises in an elevator, it is vital for passengers to be able to summon help. Whether it’s a lift breakdown, or a criminal act, it should be straightforward to talk to somebody who will respond instantly and take immediate action appropriate to the situation.
An intercom system can connect the lift with the front desk or building manager, making two-way communication possible. It can be linked to a fixed telephone line or a mobile, so that even if the person responsible for dealing with the communication is on the go, they will still be able to handle the alert.
Anyone who has ever used a passenger lift will no doubt remember having seen mirrored walls inside. Contrary to popular belief, these mirrors are not installed for vanity purposes! They are in fact a security measure, allowing boarding passengers to see the interior before entering, and a means of keeping an all-round eye on what is going on inside the cab.
Security system integration for the ultimate in elevator security
CCTV monitoring, access control and intercom systems for elevators can and indeed should be integrated with the wider security system for the building for the ultimate in passenger safety and operational efficiency.
Access control cards can for example be used to restrict access to particular zones or rooms within a building, as well as to allow access to certain floors via an elevator. CCTV installed in a lift cab can be linked up to the entire building surveillance system and combined with access control so that if a developing problem is detected, then selected areas can be remotely locked down to prevent it escalating. Combining layers of security results in a far more sophisticated level of protection.
A note about lift safety and the law
Wherever there is a passenger lift on the premises, there is a legal duty to ensure its safety. Lifts provided for use by employees in workplaces are subject to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 2998 (PUWER). Both pieces of legislation impose duties upon the lift owner to carry out periodic thorough examinations by a Competent Person. Such examinations are required twice per year, and are in addition to routine lift maintenance. Failure to comply with the Regulations could result in fines and civil and criminal prosecution.
Passenger lifts used only by non-employees, i.e. members of the public, are covered by Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Act imposes the same general responsibilities as LOLER and PUWER so far as reasonably practicable. This usually means that a similar regime of maintenance, inspection and examination will be required.
All you need for elevator security from Barry Bros Security
At Barry Bros Security we can supply everything you require to secure your passenger lifts. For the expert advice you need, on a fully tailored basis, you are welcome to get in touch with our team of experienced specialists.