An increase in incidents prompts this examination and explanation of door protection devices.

by Frank Fletcher, Jill Sweeney and Michael Fagan

We have observed a trend in personal injuries and the litigation-support business regarding elevator noncontact, infrared door detectors, aka “door detectors.” These devices were introduced in the early 1990s and instantly recognized by owners and contractors as valuable and important upgrades to passenger elevators. These passenger-safety door protection devices project a 2D array of infrared sensor beams across the full width and height of the elevator door entrance threshold and pathway. The elevator door will automatically reopen when the sensor beams are obstructed by an object in the path of the closing door. This occurs without physical contact by the person or object obstructing the pathway of the car door. Injuries still occur, however, because of assumed protection and learned behavior."