Warning as new 'dangerous' lift surfing trend sees kids as young as ten risk lives in elevator shafts for clicks
KIDS as young as 10 are putting their lives at risk by surfing on top of lifts – using cheap triangle keys bought over eBay.
The reckless YouTube craze – in which daredevils clamber on top of elevators and ride in lift shafts – has sparked scores of copycat attempts.
Campaigners last night revealed how youngsters are purchasing keys for as little as £3 over eBay to gain access to lift roofs and emergency controls.
Firefighters branded the fad “incredibly dangerous and potentially life-threatening”.
One prominent lift surfer tells followers how to “surf lifts” in videos posted on social media.
And in one clip, a pre-teen aged around 11, shows off his new triangle key, telling viewers: “Today we’ll be talking about my new triangle key which I’ve just bought. It’s used for lift surfing.
“I hope you love going on top of lifts because that’s going to be our new thing."
He then films himself trying to access a car park lift in Ashford, Kent, before confessing: “The lift has got stuck and it won’t move”.
In another video, a teen whose voice is yet to break tells how he was caught by an “old lady” who asked him if the lift was broken. He adds: “I would have done more lift surfing if I wouldn’t have gotten caught.”
Other footage on the platform includes adrenaline-seekers filming themselves lift-surfing in Southend, Essex, and tampering with the controls.
In a report to YouTube, campaigners warned the videos were “glorifying dangerous activities” and displaying “a total disregard to health and safety”.
Nick Mellor from LEIA, the Lift and Escalator Industry Association, told how surfers risk falling from height, electrocution and being struck by counterweights.
He said: ”Lifts have many safety features aimed at keeping the public and those working on lifts safe – engineers work according to safe working procedures.
“Lift engineers would never surf a lift – they understand the risks and what can happen.
“The problem of lift surfing has grown in recent years as videos posted on social media have gained popularity.
“We have complained to Youtube about some videos we have seen but with no effect.
"They should take action when they receive complaints about such obviously dangerous activities shown openly on their site.”
Not only is it putting children at risk of serious or life changing injuries, it could also take firefighters and other emergency services away from other life-saving activities
Mark Hardingham, chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said he was concerned children were using lift shafts “as play areas”.
He added: "Not only is it putting children at risk of serious or life changing injuries, it could also take firefighters and other emergency services away from other life-saving activities.
“This will have an impact on our valuable resources, which are already stretched.
"This is senseless and could potentially encourage others to take part in this mindless activity.
"I would urge those even considering this, to think twice about this foolish course of action and the impacts on not only themselves, but also others."
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