On the Move

People-moving systems such as elevators, escalators and moving walks are, by design, highly reliable. But preserving their smooth and safe operation requires regular preventive maintenance.

To keep elevators operating smoothly, consider the following tips: *In certain unusual circumstances, elevator cars may level slightly high or low at a floor. Always verify proper leveling before entering or leaving the car. If misleveling occurs, shut down the car until it can be corrected.

*Keep elevator interiors clean, as well as the door-sill area in both the car and corridor.

*Assure proper lighting in corridors and in the elevator car.

*Secure handrails, ceiling panels and ceiling-light panels to prevent their falling.

Local elevator codes specifically prohibit the storage of all non-elevator-related material in machine-room areas, and special care must be taken to keep all flammable material out of this area. Access to the machine room should be limited to trained elevator technicians.

For elevator control systems, manufacturer specifications usually require the machine room to have properly regulated humidity and a temperature range of 55øF to 90øF. This will promote reliability and increase the life of the motors, coils and other electrical devices.

When it comes to escalators, performing regular maintenance can lead to fewer future problems. Among suggested procedures:

*At least monthly, apply a silicone friction reducer on skirt panels. Be careful not to remove the silicone during routine building maintenance.

*Replace any burned out or inoperable understep lighting.

*Stop escalators or moving walks and remove any debris accumulated on steps or combplates.

*Monitor escalators for broken combteeth.

*If an escalator or moving walk makes an automatic emergency stop, contact trained maintenance personnel for an equipment check before returning it to operation.

Brushing up Most surfaces of an elevator, such as the walls and floors, can be maintained using normal cleaning materials and procedures. You should avoid using abrasive or corrosive cleaners on or around fixtures. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners on lacquer finishes, which can strip the finish off of metals and wood.

Stainless-steel and bronze fixtures require special care. Use a quality product such as a stainless-steel cleaner and polish on brushed stainless-steel surfaces, and a quality bronze polish on bronze fixtures. Apply a light coat of cleaner and polish with a soft cloth. Do not spray any cleaners directly onto pushbuttons or any other elevator fixture, which could cause damage.

The balustrades of an escalator or moving walk come in various finishes. To care for the numerous components, follow these steps:

*When cleaning glass, use a quality cleaner. Do not lean over the handrail to clean outside glass surfaces while standing on the escalator or moving walk as a loss of balance may occur.

*Skirts, the vertical panels adjacent to the moving steps, should be carefully treated with a friction-reducing material. Do not apply cleaner or polish to the skirt areas.

*Brush the aluminum steps with a stiff broom to dislodge most dirt or debris. Do not attempt to use liquids to clean the steps without first consulting a trained technician. Liquids could enter the area below the steps and result in an unsafe condition.

*Use a mild detergent and soap solution to clean the synthetic yellow step inserts. Avoid contacting the inserts with oil or other lubricants.

*Handrails should be cleaned periodically with a mixture of light detergent and water.

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