One of the most difficult situations for a building owner is when someone is trapped in their elevator. 

The first thing that comes to mind is to get the passengers out NOW. 

Passengers will try to open the doors in an effort to open them and climb out. This is the most dangerous thing that the passenger can possibly do. 

The risks of opening an elevator door between floors and attempting to get out could be fatal in a couple ways. 

First, If the person were to get out, the risk of falling down the hoistway is very high. In addition, if the person were able to get out of the elevator, the risk of the elevator starting up again and crushing that person is also very high. People have been fatally injured numerous times every single year from these two attempts to free themselves from a stuck elevator.

Code requires an item called a door restrictor which can be accomplished in several different ways ranging from a simple rod on the door operator clutch to an optical sensor to a series of mechanic vanes in the hoistway. 

The first two of these methods, the rod on the door operator clutch and the sensor are extremely unreliable and easy to defeat, override or break. 

The third option, the vane-type door restrictor is a simple, yet supremely reliable method. The system uses a fixed vane or bar on the doors and fixed angles between the floors. If the doors are attempted to be opened between floors, the vane will hit the angles and prevent the doors from being opened from inside the car. 

A trained elevator or rescue person can open the doors from the outside once the situation is made safe and the risk of falling is mitigated.

We cannot stress enough that the safest place for a passenger is IN THE ELEVATOR. 

While it is inconvenient and scary to be trapped, attempting to leave the car is much more dangerous than anything that can occur by waiting for trained personnel to get the passenger out.

If you are interested in an evaluation of your current door restrictor system (if you have any installed at all), we would be happy to look and make recommendations. 

Please call Pincus Elevator Company at  610-738-4350 or contact Tom Gibson, Sales Representative at or Tony Belluscio, President at to discuss door restrictor upgrades or installations.