Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mythbusters: Do the "Close Door" Buttons on Elevators Actually Work?

What do you do when you're on an elevator and you're in a rush? Or if you want to selfishly take the elevator by yourself? Of course, you go for the ol' "close door" button.

Those "close door" buttons on elevators are always the butt of small jokes people make: "I bet that doesn't even do anything."

But for most people (or at least for me), I always had just assumed that it did, in fact, make the elevator door close faster.

However, according to a recent article in the New Yorkers, that button is just a placebo:
"...elevator manufacturers have sought to trick the passengers into thinking they’re driving the conveyance. In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.)" (Emphasis added; Link)

I haven't tested this for myself, but the more I think about it, those doors never did seem to close in a hurry after I would push the buttons.

So next time you're in an elevator, don't even bother with that button... and laugh at those who try.


Anonymous said...

I refuse to believe this one.
As soon as I press that button, those doors close.


Jen Shin said...

another myth, at least in my work building anyway, is that you can make your elevator 'express' by holding down the close door button and the floor you're going to. then it won't make any other stops on other floors (of course you can only do this if there aren't already people in your elevator who are getting off on other floors).

i can't really prove or disprove this one. i've done it twice and it worked, but i also think it was like during non-busy hours. hmm.

john said...

lol. the close button works! (well~)

our elevators stay open for 5-10 secs, but if you press close it immediately closes. i've almost chopped other peoples fingers/limbs like this

Yuri Kim said...

i guess it's most elevators then :x
I also tried the hold down the close door button thing to make the elevator express, but it did not work.

Specifically, I tried it at a friend's apartment building :x

Howard said...

Yea, my elevator isn't the best place to collect empirical data. Nothing on it works in general.