Passenger Elevator Etiquette

Tenant safety and security rank at the very top of our priority list here at Watt Plaza. Therefore, the Building Management Staff thought it prudent to share some information with you regarding elevator etiquette. Hopefully you will find the following informative and useful:

Waiting for the Elevator

  • Please refrain from pushing the elevator call button after someone has already pushed it. If the button is lit, usually indicates that it has already been pushed. Kindly wait for the first available elevator to respond.

  • If you arrive as an elevator door is closing, regardless of how many people are in the car, it is polite to refrain from pressing the elevator call button until the elevator door has closed completely. If you press the button by mistake, and a door stops closing, do not board unless asked. Politely apologize and wait for their car to leave.

  • It is inappropriate to block an elevator door from the outside for any reason. Do not abuse the safety devices built in to the elevator door.

  • Please refrain from placing your LEGS, FEET, ARMS, HANDS, UMBRELLAS, BRIEFCASES or any other BODY PART in front of a closing elevator door. The elevators are equipped with a code required feature called “nudging.” If the doors are held open longer than 20 seconds, the buzzer will sound and the doors will shut at a reduced speed and a reduced torque regardless if an object is in the way; this feature is required by Fire Code.

  • Always check the direction of the car before boarding. If you cannot see an indicator lamp, politely ask the riders of the car which direction the car is traveling. Please refrain from stopping the doors from closing to do this.

Entering the Elevator

  • Allow passengers to exit before attempting to board. While waiting to board, stand away from the door opening. Do not board the car unless you are sure no one is getting off on your floor. If there is someone exiting, kindly allow them to clear the door before attempting to board.

  • In general those standing nearest the door should be allowed to board first. Historically, gentlemen would allow ladies to board first to the extent that this is practical.

  • To determine whether you should board the car, determine if there is enough room for you and your buffer space. As a rule of thumb, there should be room for two people for every one that is attempting to board.

  • During high traffic times, you may find it necessary to board a car that is crowded. If there is not a verbal invitation to board, the passengers may welcome you by making room for you, consider that an invitation to board. If you are with someone else, do not assume that the invitation stands for all of you. It may be necessary to split up and agree to meet at your destination floor.

Inside the Elevator

  • Once you enter the elevator please pay attention to which buttons have been pressed. If your desired floor has already been selected there is no further action required on your part.

  • If pressing the call button would require you to push through someone, it is acceptable to ask someone else to push the call button for you as long as they are not further away from it or unable to reach the button for you (i.e. coffee in their hands, etc.) Conversely, if you find yourself close to the button panel in an elevator, you may have the additional responsibility of button management. It would polite to make sure the other riders have had the button for their floor pressed. This keeps people from reaching through a crowd to the button panel and eliminates the stress for those that cannot reach the buttons.

  • Regardless of your position, if you are asked to press a button, it is proper to press the button as requested or pass the request on to the closest person to the button panel.

  • Oversized packages: In any case where you are carrying or pushing a large package, you should wait for an empty elevator. If you are invited to board a loaded car, be sure all riders agree to the invitation and that it is not mere polity. If you are unsure, insist that you are willing to wait for the next empty car.
  • Transporting boxes (such as those used to transport court documents) on a dolly in any of the passenger elevators must meet the following criteria:
    • The maximum number of storage boxes is (3), which is equal to or less than a height limitation of 35 inches;
    • The dolly must have two rubber wheels to minimize noise and prevent damage to the tile floors;
    • The boxes must be securely strapped down to the dolly to prevent them from falling off.
  • Holding the door for someone that is running toward the car is only appropriate when the car is empty or there is consensus among the passengers that it is ok to wait.

  • Closing the door using the door close button should be done only when it is clear that no one is trying to board the elevator or when there are other cars available to go in the same direction. It is improper to close the door on someone that is moving toward the elevator.

  • It is also acceptable to close the door when you are in a full elevator that stops at a floor for a passenger who indicates they would like to wait for the next car. Give them a chance to make their decision to board or not to board before closing the door.

  • You should stand as close to a wall as possible. Consider your destination floor and stand near the back if you are going to a high floor. If you know you are getting off shortly, stand toward the front. If you choose to stand near the buttons, understand that you may have increased responsibility.

  • Always allow as much space as possible between you and the passengers. Always stand facing the door.

  • Please be considerate when talking on an elevator, talk softly and do not assume that everyone in the car cares about what you are saying. Please avoid lewd jokes and topics that could offend others.

  • Singing, humming and whistling are generally discouraged. If you are wearing headphones, they should be turned down to a level that cannot be heard by other passengers.

  • In general, it is inappropriate to touch other passengers on purpose. If you should accidentally bump into someone with you baggage or parts of your person, immediately apologize for invading their personal space.

  • Always respect the personal space of the other passengers.

  • If you are using an elevator while sick, consider waiting for the elevator to arrive empty. The close proximity of an elevator makes it a good place for germs to be transferred. If you have a cold, keep your mouth covered and avoid touching the buttons without a tissue. Always cover your mouth when sneezing in an elevator.

  • Never, under any circumstances, spit, urinate, or defecate in an elevator. It presents a serious health risk to elevator riders as well as maintenance personnel.

  • Riding an elevator while intoxicated should be avoided. Your impairment could present a danger to yourself and other riders.

  • Take steps to ensure that the only buttons being pressed are the ones for which floor a passenger must exit. However, in the event that you mistakenly press a button for the wrong floor, wait until the doors open on that floor and apologize to those who remain in the elevator. You may press the door closed buttons to cut down on wasted time.

  • When you find it necessary to take baggage onto an elevator, wait for an empty car when possible. If you must board an occupied elevator with baggage, be sure there is enough room for you and your baggage without violating the personal space of others.

  • Try to stay near the doors with baggage in order to displace the fewest number of passengers upon your exit.

  • The emergency stop button is for emergencies only. Do not use this button for personal reasons.

  • Using a passenger elevator for the transport of cargo is not permitted.

Exiting the Elevator

  • When standing between someone trying to exit and the door, do your best to move out of the way for them. If necessary, exit the elevator, allow them to leave and re-board.

  • Historically, gentlemen allow ladies to exit the elevator first unless they are blocking the doors.

  • In a crowded elevator, when there are others between you and the door, announce that the elevator has arrived at your floor and excuse yourself while making your way through the crowd. Pushing is discouraged.