In the current situation bodies corporate pay extra attention to the cleaning of the common property, especially spaces with frequent traffic, such as entry halls, corridors and lifts.
The current unprecedented situation with guidelines to socially distance and to try to eradicate any viruses from our environment has led to some unintended consequences. In terms of lift maintenance, incorrect cleaning of lift button panels can lead to malfunctioning of the lift and emergency lift phones.
The bodies corporate has embraced the burden of extra cleaning of their common properties, especially the ones with heavy traffic – and naturally lifts fall into such category.
When disinfecting or cleaning lift button panels considerable care must be taken to avoid damage to the buttons or emergency phone. The emergency phone is usually hidden from view behind a car button panel.
Lift button panels and buttons come in many shapes and sizes. Most buttons are a type of plastic and can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals. The button panel will often have slots or small holes for speakers and microphones.
Spraying lift button panels liberally with bleach or alcohol based cleaning products will result in irreversible damage to the buttons and emergency phone.
We know of several instances of lift emergency phones not operating due to contamination by cleaning products. One phone had liquid dripping from the speaker when removed for replacement due to the amount of disinfectant used!
By all means wipe down surfaces of lift car interiors and buttons with an alcohol based disinfectant wipe but avoid spraying buttons or any openings in panels. Buttons and phones are expensive components to replace. Expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for a new phone plus callout charges if the lift contractor attributes the failure of the lift button or phone to incorrect cleaning methods.
Avoid using bleach or products containing harsh chemicals. If in doubt, phone your lift service contractor for information on how to best clean your lift.
Author: Bradley van Xanten, UOAQ President