In preparation for the Main Roof Replacement Project, which will require a lot of elevator traffic, we recently started a dialogue with Otis Elevator. To make a long story short, we want them to have a heightened state of awareness about the condition of elevators 5 and 6 with as much proactive and preventative maintenance as they can possibly give, before and during the project.
As a part of this effort, we examined the last 10 times elevator #6 went out of service, whether it was a planned or unplanned outage. Two times were for planned maintenance, twice were for rope adjustments due to seasonal expansion and contraction of the tower, and a whopping 6 times the door operator failed. This usually occurs when someone manually holds the door or pushes it open.
When a user physically blocks an elevator door while it is trying to close, the software is programmed to sense trouble and it can cause it to time out. This will shut it down for safety and to prevent damage to the door and the door operator. Forcing the door to close, or manhandling the door and sensor along the frame can cause damage or injury.
RATHER THAN PHYSICALLY halting the door or forcing it to remain open, use the door open button:
Yes…this button (pictured above) does work. And it will not result in a trouble signal which could shut down the elevator. And obviously knowing that this results in outages, which is an inconvenience to everyone, it is preferable to manually shutting the door.
Besides the obvious, that in our inevitable hurry to go to and from the button would be abused and pressed all the time and the door would close when there are people still making there way to the elevator. Not that we want to be discourteous to our neighbors, it’s just human nature.
In all seriousness though, these buttons are very purposefully disengaged. In the US it is standard practice to have the elevator doors on a timer, so that they will remain open for a set amount of time to give passengers a reasonable opportunity to get in and out. This is consistent with industry codes, if not just good common sense.
HOWEVER, there is an exception. This button will function when the elevator is in firefighter mode, because as we know in that line of work in a few seconds can make a difference. Which answers the logical follow up question, why do they install the button if it doesn’t work.
Now we know! 🙂