Expert reveals 'close door' button on elevators is a lie

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Friday 28 October 2016 13:30
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(Getty Images)

It may be because you're in a rush, or that you just really want to avoid an awkward vertical journey with your boss who's slowly approaching the elevator doors.

Either way, it's almost guaranteed that anyone who's ever taken a lift has tapped away frantically at the 'close door' button.

Yet now, almost as if our entire lives have all been a lie, an expert, as much as anyone can be an expert in this sort of thing, has revealed that a piece of legislation in the US means the 'close door' button is all but obsolete.

Owing to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, all elevator doors must stay open long enough to allow anyone on crutches or in a wheelchair to get through.

Karen Penafiel, executive director of National Elevator Industry Inc, told the New York Times this week:

The riding public would not be able to make those doors close any faster.

The paper adds:

No figures were available for the number of elevators still in operation with functioning door-close buttons. Given that the estimated useful life of an elevator is 25 years, it is likely that most elevators in service today have been modernized or refurbished, rendering the door-close buttons a thing of the past.

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