This is my fourth post about house escalators, bringing the grand total of all articles about house escalators on the web to about seven.
My most recent post was back in February, where I shared the story of a woman in New York City who was recovering in a hospital after she was rescued from the elevator in her New York City townhouse where she was stuck for three days.
In that post, I noted that one of my fears is being stuck in an elevator, and I offered my solution – house escalators, noting some of the advantages of such a device:
- if the power goes out you can still use an escalator
- an escalator is better for your health, it could even be part of your workout routine; you can use the escalator for an interval workout – walk up the escalator with the power off, then ride it back down to recover; repeat 10-15 times. You could use it like a Stairmaster – stand at the bottom of the escalator and turn the escalator on in the reverse direction, and just walk “up” the steps at a steady pace; perhaps you could even adjust the speed of the escalator.
- an escalator would not take up additional space; you can just replace your stairway with an escalator
- your pet could still move between the upper and lower levels of your house without your intervention; teaching them to use an elevator could prove difficult
- it’s easier to make a grand entrance on an escalator, for when you want to do things like announce that you are running for President or to simply say aloha.
My first post about house escalators was back in 2017. For some reason, it has been one of my most popular posts, with nearly 5,000 views, and over 25 comments.
So why another post about house escalators?
Because of the latest story about the dangers of house elevators.
There was an article in today’s Wall Street Journal that featured three separate stories of real estate agents who got stuck in an elevator while showing a property.
- the first story took place out while the agent was walking a client and his two kids around a brilliant $40 million house in Bel-Air—new construction with a glass elevator. The client said he was afraid of enclosed spaces, but he wanted me to get in the elevator and try it out. The agent got in along with the client’s two kids who were maybe 10 and 12. The doors closed, and then the power cut out. The three of them were stuck in the elevator for an hour and a half. After about two minutes, they ran out of conversation. The kids freaked out and started shouting, “Daddy! Daddy!” The agent said he wanted to scream “Daddy!” too. Finally, the fire brigade came and opened the doors.
- The second story was of an agent showing a townhouse condominium—a $3.5 million property that was still a job site. She got there a half-hour before to turn on all the lights and got in the elevator. It’s one of the new, modern ones with louvered doors that close automatically and lock when you press the button. Your instinct is to touch the doors and pull them closed—but if you do that, they fall off the track and you are stuck. Her instinct kicked in, and she was stuck. After several dead-end phone calls, she finally called her ex-husband— a contractor—and asked him to get on YouTube. He talked her through putting the elevator doors back on track. Working in the dark, with the only light coming from her cellphone, she was able to get the doors back on track, after 25 minutes.
- The last one happened at a co-op on the Upper East Side. The agent, along with five other people, piled into the tiny elevator. The door closed, the elevator moved a little and then it stopped. We were halfway between the lobby and the second floor. A few moments later, one of the buyers said, “Do you smell that?” There was smoke pouring into the top of the elevator. She dialed 911, but at this point, everyone was panicking. One of the occupants of the co-op knew how to pry open the elevator door. He assisted everyone as they jumped down into the lobby. Later, people told me how dangerous this was—that people have been killed that way. Within moments the Fire Department arrived. It turned out to be a small electrical fire.
So once again, I ask the question, why don’t houses have escalators?
If these stories don’t convince you, I don’t know what would.
If there’s a contractor that wants to go in business with me to build house escalators, I’m in. You do all the hard work of installing them, and I’ll point potential clients to these blog posts. Sounds like a 50-50 deal to me.
*image from BYU Scroll