Elevator Safety

Observe the Gap space in the elevator

 Gap Space 


 Elevator Car/Hoistway Door 

The elevator car door or gate is attached to the elevator car itself, and is commonly an accordion door or a scissor gate. Some elevators have more than one entrance.
The hoistway door is the exterior door that leads from the hallway to the elevator car. There is one hoistway door on every floor serviced by the elevator.

Observe the Gap space in the elevator

The space between the inside of the hoistway door and the deepest part of the elevator car door/gate is the “Gap Space.” The diagram below (see Figure 2) illustrates where this space is. If this space exceeds 4 inches at any point, there is a risk of a child becoming trapped in this space. If the elevator moves while the child is in this space, they could be seriously injured or killed.

Figure 1: Elevator Car and Hoistway Door

Figure 2: show Gap space

The first step is to determine whether the Gap Space in any entrance served by your home elevator exceeds 4 inches at any point. This measurement must be obtained at every floor and every entrance served by the elevator, with the elevator car at that floor, since the size of the gap may differ from floor to floor.

if you have doors that operate manually:

  • 1 Call the elevator car using the hallway call button
  • 2 When the car arrives, open the hoistway door but leave the elevator car door/gate closed
  • 3 Identify that part of the “door stop” which aligns with the inside of the hoistway door (see Figure 2)
  • 4 Identify the deepest part of the elevator car door/gate (see Figure 3)
  • 5 Take multiple measurements at different parts of the elevator car door/gate to determine whether any of the Gap Spaces exceed 4 inches at any point
  • 6 Repeat these steps at every floor and every entrance serviced by the elevator

Figure 3: Measuring Gap space

Safety /Elevator

Home elevator safety measurement instructions


To determine if your home elevator may need one or more Space Guards, you need detailed measurements for each elevator entrance and each landing or floor served by your elevator. Please provide all measurements to the nearest one‑sixteenth (1/16) of an inch.

1. GAP SPACE: We will need the distance from the inside of the hoistway door to the farthest point on the car door or gate. Since it would not be feasible to measure this distance with both the hoistway door and car gate closed, you may find one of the following methods useful to mark the hoistway door location on the floor and then measure this distance:

Enter the car at the entrance being measured. Close the hoistway door, but keep the car gate open. Mark a line on the floor (with tape, chalk, or other non‑permanent means) directly below the inside face of the hoistway door. Then exit the car, close the car gate, and with the hoistway door still open, measure from the line you just marked to the farthest point of the car gate perpendicular to that line. (If you have an accordion gate, the farthest point will be in a “valley” of that gate.)

Even if the first measurement indicates that the Gap Space is less than four inches, take multiple measurements at different parts of the elevator car door to determine whether the Gap Space exceeds four inches at any point.

If the elevator has a power‑operated car door or gate that either self‑closes whenever the hoistway door is closed or cannot be closed when the hoistway door is open, or you otherwise have difficulty taking these measurements, we recommend that you request that we arrange for a contractor to visit your home to check the Gap Space.

2. DOOR KNOB TYPE: If the door has a lever rather than a round knob, please verify that the lever is not longer than four inches. (Note: The Space Guard was designed for doors that have a round knob but may accommodate many lever‑style handles. However, if the Space Guard hinders proper operation of your particular lever‑style handle due to the handle’s size or shape, then you might need to replace the handle with a round knob or different style handle.)

3. DOOR KNOB HEIGHT: At each floor with an excessive Gap Space, measure the vertical distance from the bottom edge of the door (directly beneath the door knob) to the center of the hoistway door knob (on the side of the door that faces the elevator car). (Note: Please do not make this measurement from the floor to the door knob, but only from the bottom edge of the door to the door knob.)

4. DOOR KNOB POSITION: Indicate whether the door knob or lever is on the left side or right side of the hoistway door, as viewed from inside the elevator car (that is, on the side of the hoistway door where the space guard will be mounted).

5. HOISTWAY DOOR WIDTH: Measure the width of your hoistway door from edge to edge. (Please note that you should measure the width of the door itself rather than that of the doorway.) Space Guards are available in standard widths of 32 inches and 36 inches.

6. HOISTWAY LANDING SILL SIZE: Measure the distance from the inside of the hoistway door to the edge of the landing sill.

Repeat these steps at every elevator entrance in your home.

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