Last year, The New Yorker magazine published an article on Nicholas White, who was trapped in an elevator in New York City’s McGraw-Hill building for 41 hours. There is also an online time-lapsed video of the ordeal here. Several prominent industry figures contributed to this story, including James Fortune, John Fruin and Edward Donoghue.
Besides just being a really interesting article, it was also loaded with “Did you know….” facts throughout, and I have compiled this list below. Feel free to discuss, dispute or comment on any of the below. Here is the list:
· The Door Close button is there mostly to give passengers the illusion of control. In elevators built since the early ’90s. The button is only enabled in emergency situations with a key held by an authority.
· The only known occurence of an elevator car free falling due to a snapped cable (barring fire or structural collapse), was in 1945. A B25 Bomber crashed into the Empire State Building, severing the cables of two elevators. The elevator car on the 75th floor had a woman on it, but she survived due to the 1000 feet of coiled cable of fallen cable below, which lessened the impact.
· Elevators are twenty times safer than escalators. There are twenty times more elevators than escalators, but only 1/3 more accidents.
· Elevators are also safer than cars. An average of 26 people die in elevators each year in the U.S. There are 26 car deaths every five hours.
· Most people who die in elevators are elevator technicians.
· The Otis Elevator Company carries the equivalent of the world’s population in their elevators every five days.
· The New York Marriott was the first to introduce a smart elevator system that assigned passengers to elevators depending on what floor they were heading to.
· Elevators used to require a two-man dispatcher/operator team to function. The advent of navigational buttons rendered those jobs obsolete.
· The area required for personal space is 2.3 feet. The average amount on elevators is generally 2 feet.
· Elevator hatches are generally bolted shut for safety reasons. In times of elevator crisis, the safest place is inside the elevator.
· The myth about jumping just before impact in a falling elevator is just that — myth. You can’t jump fast enough to counteract the speed of falling. And you wouldn’t know when to jump.
· Due to the laws of physics, elevators can’t be any taller than 1700 feet. Hoist ropes become too heavy after that, snapping at 3200 feet.
Best — Brad