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Thread: Forcing Open an Elevator Door

  1. #1
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Forcing Open an Elevator Door

    Smart folks,

    Is it possible to force open an elevator door in the event a building loses power? This would be from OUTSIDE the elevator, not in the car itself. The target would be a freight elevator. (I'd go try it myself and see, but I'm sure security would be very anxious to see someone trying to force open a closed elevator door.)

    A thousand thanks.

  2. #2
    Hi. SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about this, but I believe they have a lock (like a small hole in the outside of the door) where someone with the right master key (a t-shaped device) can release an elevator door. The Nova TV program recently did a couple of specials on elevators. They're available on the PBS website. They might have something on this. I work with elevator manufacturers all the time, but I'm just interested in what size opening and rail support they need.
    Last edited by alleycat; 12-13-2010 at 07:11 PM.



  3. #3
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Yes,

    Elevator doors have special mechanisms that allow security and first responders to open elevator doors from the outside of the car. They have a couple of tools that disconnect the slide bar inside the door and then the doors can be opened.

    There are two sets of doors. The inside door that is part of the cab, and the outer door on each floor. They would open the outer door first to see where the elevator car is. It might not be aligned with the floor it is opened on. Once they are sure where the elevator cab is, they then can either open the inner door or climb down on top of the cab and open a hatch. (Taking passengers out through a top hatch is a last resort as its difficult and can be dangerous.)

    Hope this helps Noah...
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

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  4. #4
    Entertainment Ronin
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    I just need the outer door opened, and they do have the key for it... through the wonders of rapid rewrite, of course.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Sockpuppet
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    It depends on the elevator. Older freight elevators were designed to opened at will, and many newer ones are also easy to open. Passenger elevators are often more difficult.

  6. #6
    Keeping up with the class whacko's Avatar
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    I'd imagine you could do it with a cunning mix of brawn, brute-strength and violence.

    But, slightly off topic, I've never, ever, been in an elevator with an escape hatch on the roof.
    Half of what I say is meaningless... The other half is complete bullshit. Guess the references.
    Now polluting Wordpress too.

  7. #7
    Sheriff Bullwinkle the Poet says: RJK's Avatar
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    The emergency key is usually located in a glass fronted box next to the elevator on the ground floor. (In case of emergency break glass for Key)

  8. #8
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Quote Originally Posted by whacko View Post
    I'd imagine you could do it with a cunning mix of brawn, brute-strength and violence.

    But, slightly off topic, I've never, ever, been in an elevator with an escape hatch on the roof.
    Like I said in the OP, folks aren't in the elevator.

  9. #9
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJK View Post
    The emergency key is usually located in a glass fronted box next to the elevator on the ground floor. (In case of emergency break glass for Key)
    No good, lobby is unobtainable. But I rewrote to have the maintenance guy have a key on him.

  10. #10
    Keeping up with the class whacko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Body View Post
    Like I said in the OP, folks aren't in the elevator.
    Like I said, slightly off topic...
    Half of what I say is meaningless... The other half is complete bullshit. Guess the references.
    Now polluting Wordpress too.

  11. #11
    It was a dark and stormy night hammerklavier's Avatar
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    Although designs differ greatly, it's actually easier to open many elevator doors when power is out. Many elevators have a motor holding the doors shut, when the power goes out, you can force the doors open, but not before.

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