How to Open an Elevator Door From the Outside

In this blog post, we will talk about how to open an elevator door from the outside. It’s actually pretty simple, and it only takes few steps! All you need is a sturdy object that will fit inside the gap between the top of the elevator door and its frame.

How to Open an Elevator Door From the Outside

Then all you have to do is place your object against one side of the doorway so that when you push on it, it forces something called “torsion,” which causes the other side of the door to pop up off its hinges below. For a more detailed explanation, see these full blog posts!

7 Common Reasons Why Elevator Door Get Stuck

Here are 5 of the most common reasons why elevator doors get stuck:

  • Safety sensors on the door get stuck because of a malfunction.
  • The door may be misaligned and needs to be adjusted to stay in its tracks properly. 
  • Other objects that have been left in the elevator jam or obstruct the movement of the doors, preventing them from shutting completely.
  • A broken beam is keeping one of the elevator doors from closing.
  • An object is wedged in the gap at the top of the door, preventing it from closing properly. 
  • The elevator cab or the door frame may be misaligned, causing doors to get stuck.
  • Weather conditions such as high winds or heavy snow may impede the movement of elevator doors.

Solutions: How to Open an Elevator Door From the Outside

A Knife or Scissors

If you have a knife or scissors with you, it’s the easiest thing to use. Just jam it into the slit between the top of the door and its frame. By forcing torsion, this should pop open some doors! If not, try using another method after this one doesn’t work.

A Long Piece of Plastic

If you have a long piece of plastic like a hanger, you can try this. Use your piece of plastic to wedge between the top and the bottom of the door. Then, like using a knife or scissors, when you force torsion with it, it should pop open!

Use Your Piece of Plastic 
To Wedge Between the Top 
And the Bottom of the Door

Another Person in a Higher Elevator

If you and another person are stuck in an elevator, the easiest thing to do is ask the other person to open the door. Then, have them put one sturdy object against one side of the doorway so that it forces torsion with it. Afterward, have your friend push on this object with all of their weight so that the door pops up off its hinges below.

A Post-It Note or Sticky Tape

If you have a long piece of sticky tape or a post-it note, try placing it on one side of the doorway and then pushing down with all of your weight against it. This will force torsion, which should cause the other side of the door to pop open.

A Brick Piece of Wood

If you have a long piece of wood or brick, try placing it on one side of the doorway and then pushing down with all of your weight against it. This will force torsion, which should cause the other side of the door to pop open.

A Broom or a Fishing Pole

If you have a broom or fishing pole with you, try placing one end against one side of the doorway and then pushing down on it so that it pushes up on the other side of the doorway from below. This should cause the top ledge of the door to pop up off its hinges.

Placing One End Against
One Side of the Doorway

A Chair or a Small Table

If you have a chair with you, try placing one leg of it against the top of the elevator door and then use all of your weight to push on it so that it forces torsion with it. This should cause the other side of the doorway to pop up off its hinges.

A Swinging Door

If you’re in a warehouse or an industrial building, get near a swinging door to try this method! If you can find one and put something heavy on it, like a brick or cement block, this should cause the bottom of the other side of the doorway to pop up off its hinges.

A Spring-Loaded Door

If you’re on an elevator in a hotel, hospital, or school that has a spring-loaded doorway, try putting some heavy object onto it. This should cause its bottom to pop up off the ground and open the exit! If not, you can try this next method.

A Cement Block

If you have a cement block or something similar with you, that’s heavy enough to push on the bottom of the elevator door so that when you force torsion with it, it can pop open off its hinges. Try using whatever object will work for this, but be sure it’s heavy enough so that when you push on it, it forces torsion in such a way that the other side of the doorway pops off its hinges.

One of these methods should work because if you can force torsion with your object hard enough, it should cause the top of the door to pop up off its hinges. This will allow you and potentially other people to exit the elevator!

5 Tips To Prevent Elevator From Getting StucK

  • Never force an elevator door to shut if it doesn’t do so on its own.
Never Force an Elevator
Door to Shut if It Doesn't 
Do So on Its Own
  • If the doors jam, carefully try to free the jam with a piece of cardboard or by inserting something between the door edges.
  • If you must break an elevator door to get out, punch only the top edge of the glass and be sure it is tempered; if there’s a metal frame around the glass, use that. If it doesn’t work, have someone else try to kick out the rest of the glass while you’re stepping back onto safety (or run down the elevator shaft if you’re on a really high floor).
  • Never try to jump up and grab the edge of an elevator door as closing it could leave you injured or, worse, trapped inside!
  • To keep from getting stuck in an outdoor lift, be sure you have your car keys with you if you need to break a window.

What Should You Do if Trapped in an Elevator?

Stay calm

Panicking makes you tired and consumes oxygen. Plus, you need to conserve your breath if the elevator stops for a long time between floors.

Check around

See if there’s anything you can use to signal someone outside the car, like a cell phone or camera flash. If you have a whistle, blow it, so rescuers know where you are.

Make a plan

Work out how you’ll escape if the elevator cables snap. No one survived the WTC attacks because most people were trapped inside elevators when the buildings fell. If you can’t get through a doorway, punch an elevator panel where rescuers will find it once they reach your floor.

Take care of yourself

Check that the elevator has air to breathe, check your own health and comfort. Stockpile any food, water, or medicine you might need in an emergency.

Know where you are

Find out if the elevator controls have been disabled or what floor you’re on. Even if they have, the lift’s position indicator could still be working, so write it down and give rescuers as much information as possible.

Fix your cellphone

If (unlikely) cellphone reception is poor in the elevator, move close to the door or walls where it’s strongest, then call 911.

Keep calm

If you have a cellphone and a signal, call emergency services. Tell them your location and what floor you’re on. If you don’t know where you are, ask someone who works in the building for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Are Stairs Safer Than Elevators?

When you take the stairs and walk ten flights to your destination, you will probably feel better about yourself than if you stayed inside an elevator for that same amount of time. You’ll feel better about yourself because you are taking an active part in your own health and well-being. However, there is no direct evidence that walking upstairs is actually healthier than using an elevator, although many experts believe it can.

Q: Is It Possible That You Run Out of Oxygen in a Stuck Elevator?

Elevators are indeed designed to keep the air supply intact, but oxygen levels can drop below safe levels if you’re trapped in a car at the top of a building. This is because your body produces carbon dioxide as it metabolizes food and converts it into energy. As a result, the poison builds up in the confined space, causing drowsiness and, eventually, unconsciousness.

Q: How Do You Get Into an Elevator Shaft?

Elevator shafts are typically covered by a grating or mesh screen to keep people from falling. Opening the grating can be relatively easy, especially if it’s made of wood. Use a crowbar to pry the pieces apart. If there is no grate, you’ll have to climb over the elevator itself. The cars themselves are attached to the shaft by cables to have a clear path as they travel up and down. You can either climb over this or slip between it and the wall of the shaft.

Conclusion

In an emergency, you may need to open a stuck elevator door from the outside. We hope this article has been helpful and given you some tips on how to open an elevator door from the outside.

If not, or if you have any other questions about your building’s emergency procedure plan for elevators, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so that we can be of assistance! Thank you for reading our blog post today.

You may read also – How to Keep a Glass Shower Door Closed

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly
Logo