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Elevator Action: How to Escape Being Trapped in an Elevator


How many of you remember the old Nintendo game Elevator Action? In the game you play a spy, bounding to and from elevators to reach the bottom floor of a building. As you descend, you’re dodging bullets and taking out bad guys along the way to your escape in a super fast 8-bit sports car. That’s how your normal workday commute goes anyway, right?

While you might not be dodging bullets, I’m sure you’ve always wondered about what you’d do if you found yourself in a stuck elevator. Would you reenact Die Hard and climb out the top hatch and scale the cables? Probably not, considering those emergency hatches are typically locked from the outside.

I’ll get into the details of what you should do if you find yourself trapped in an elevator, but this article might also serve as a reminder to always take the stairs. Not just for the reason that electronics will inevitably fail at the least convenient times, but also due to the implication that you’re predictable in an elevator.


As my friend Uri from the Red Teams Blog says, “never take the elevator.” Uri’s not a particularly paranoid person, but he always has a way of looking at things from a situational awareness aspect and is an advocate of never putting yourself in a position that can be compromised. He mentions that you can easily be tracked in an elevator, as you’re basically trapped in a box that always drops you onto a semi-fixed location that’s easy to monitor and observe. Worse, a trap can easily be set on any of the stops an elevator makes. Taking the stairs can help you familiarize yourself with exits and work on your escape plan. You do always have an escape plan, right?

Let’s get back to what to do in an emergency if you should ever find yourself trapped in an elevator, because you’re bound to ride another one, even after reading this article.

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