Asia Editor's Blog HK People News World

Lifts from hell!

Written by Daniel Otero

Elevator, lack of seasonal updates and dangers


By: Daniel Otero



One thing about China that any person takes their life into their hands, is taking the lift or automatic stairs.


These two simple items are a hazard for any person living in this country.


I don’t know if it’s the indifference; however, these items do have inspection codes and due dates. Some are done yearly and in truth, with anything mechanical, inspections ought to be done every six months.


Updates and seasonal checks are important, because it has been noted in the last several years people getting stuck in elevators, as a young lady getting decapitated by one or a young boy having his foot caught on the automatic stairs.  All of these turning into unnecessary tragedies.


Taking an elevator in this country is like an extreme sport, you don’t know if you are going to come out okay!


For example, in my building, you can sometimes hear the elevator cables or the skids/tracks struggling to go upward and come down.  One wonders, “Oh God, am I going to get out of this one?”


I’ve walked into elevators, then suddenly the lights start to flicker on and off.  I really don’t know if it’s a bad-practical joke or if the elevator will break down at any moment!


If you’re a concerned citizen, which I hope you are, if you look closely at the tags inside the elevator or to the left/right on an automatic stairs.  Check the numbers of the last date of inspection.  If you feel that something is weird, try to avoid the elevator and go for the stairs.


There’s also a phone number for you to call in case of problems.  These people are usually inspectors.  But there’s a sad truth and yes, I did ask!  Many of these so called ‘inspectors’ and building managers allow the inspection date to run out by over six months or more, just to save money.


In other words, you can be riding in something which was last inspected 18 to 24 months ago!


You see, I’m usually culturally sensitive, but this has nothing to do with culture.  It’s just sheer abandonment of responsibilities and incompetence.


When I ride an elevator or automatic stairs, I want to ride them in safety.  I mean, accidents do happen; however, if you leave something ‘overdue’, it won’t fixed itself!  Two things happen, either the contraption breaks down, causes an accident and somebody is either killed or hurt by this blatant irresponsibility.


Anything anatomical, mechanical or computerized needs a seasonal update: whether it’s your body, a car, cable-car, plumbing, computer, elevator or automatic stairs.  This means, every three at a minimum and six months at a maximum, they all need inspections to see if everything is in working order!


Then, how can people dare to leave something without a check-up for more than a year or two.  Preposterous!

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.