Up and Down

by | Jun 6, 2017


  1. Only about 26 people die due to elevator accidents each year (almost of these people die while servicing elevators). Elevators are also about 20 times safer than escalators.
  2. One of the only elevators to fall due to a complete cable system failure occurred during 1945 when an airplane crashed into the empire state building and severed all the cables on an elevator. The elevator fell from the 75th floor with one occupant who survived the fall because a thousand feet of cable had piled up beneath it, serving as a kind of spring and the falling elevator in the shaft created a pillow of air pressure as the elevator car compressed the air in the shaft. She was injured but survived.
  3. Only 1 out of 12 million elevator rides result in any sort of mechanical problem – usually minor.
  4. Elevators carry the equivalent of the Earth’s entire population every three days (7.5 billion people).
  5. The U.S. has about 900,000 elevators.
  6. The Door Close button is there mostly to give passengers the illusion of control. In elevators built since the early ’90s the button is only enabled in emergency situations with a key held by an authority.
  7. Due to the laws of physics, elevators can’t be any taller than 1700 feet. Hoist ropes become too heavy for heights taller than that.  That is why super tall buildings have multiple banks of elevators.
  8. The average elevator trip in the U.S. is about 40 feet or 4 stories and on average carries 5 people per trip.
  9. Wait times in an office building of 30 seconds are considered acceptable.  Longer than 60 seconds tends to make people irritable.  Thus, it is important for buildings to have the right number of elevators.

1 Comment

  1. My favorite factoids on this IFOD are numbers 2, 6 and 4….in that order 🙂

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