Elevator Etiquette: You Are Being Polite Enough?

There are many rules for proper behavior, but not many of us are aware of the fact that they apply to riding in the elevator as well. Here are a couple of tips on elevator etiquette.

Calling the Elevator

To spare yourself and others the trouble, try to be aware of the direction you want to take and press the right button. Keep in mind that if you call an elevator that is going down, board it and then press the button for going up, you will get some disapproving looks from the other passengers.


A few seconds of patience will go a long way. Before you even start approaching the elevator door, wait for them to open. There is always a chance that the elevator is crowded and you wouldn’t want to look like you are pushing your way inside.

After you have let all the other passengers exit the elevator, take a look around to see if there is anyone who should be allowed to board first, such as disabled people and pregnant women.

Standing in the Elevator

Yes, you can choose the wrong place to stand. Whenever it is possible, leave enough room between the other passengers and yourself. This is why it is recommended to stand as close to the elevator walls as possible. Also, if you want to avoid having to press the buttons for the passengers that can’t reach them, you should try to get to the back of the elevator.

Even eating and talking on the phone are considered impolite, since by doing that, you give the passengers no other choice but to watch you eat and listen to your conversation.

Every time someone needs to get out of the elevator, you should make sure that you are not blocking their way. It is allowed to step out of the elevator to let the other passengers exit.

Although many would say otherwise, holding the door for someone who is trying to board the elevator is not required of you. You can do it if there is enough room for another person, and if you think that the other passengers wouldn’t mind. However, keep in mind that holding the elevator door can cause an accident and put the passengers at risk.


Yes, you should have an exit strategy in case you get stuck. If the elevator is crowded, there is only so much you can do to avoid getting into other people’s personal space. This is why you should choose a way to announce that you are exiting. A simple “excuse me,” or even a subtle cough will do the trick. By doing this, you will make it easier not only for the other passengers, but for yourself as well.

Whatever you do after the elevator stops, never try to push your way out of it. Apart from being rude, this is also an unnecessary action, since most people will do their best to stay out of your way, and you won’t miss your stop that easily.

5 Fascinating Books That Will Change Your Mind About Elevators

Can you imagine yourself starting an interesting conversation about elevators? Although most of us don’t give them a second thought, plenty of intriguing books have been written that may have you rethinking this common method of transportation.

“Going Up: An Informal History of the Elevator from the Pyramids to the Present”

This “modern” invention appears to have a much longer history than you would have ever thought. If you are eager to find out more about its ancient origins, look no further. As the name of the book itself suggests, you’ll delve into the history of the elevator that can be traced back to the Egyptian times.

“A History of Passenger Elevator in the 19th Century”

This book shares focuses on the birth of modern elevators—those developed in the 1800s. It will help you understand what was crucial for making both elevators and skyscrapers a part of today’s world. Beginning with British and American freight hoists from the 1850s and covering the skyscrapers built in the 1880s, the overview will provide you with plenty of interesting facts and a fresh insight.

“Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator”

Although to most people elevators are nothing more than useful inventions, the author of this book has managed to prove that they are much more than that. Not only will the book give you an overview of their architectural and technological history, but it will also make you understand the role elevators ended up playing in both literature and cinema. If you want to know how the birth of elevators has changed our notions of urban space, then this is the right book for you.

“Up, Down, Across: Elevators, Escalators and Moving Sidewalks”

This is another fascinating read on the impact of the elevator on our culture. Ever since its invention, few parts of the urban landscape have stayed the same. Modern elevators enabled the construction of skyscrapers and ended up being used in a wide range of different buildings, including apartment buildings, retail spaces, offices and airports. Using a variety of image sources, ranging from historical prints and film stills to modern computer renderings, the author of this fascinating cultural study manages to show you the role the elevator played in the transformation of our cities into what they are today.

“Elevators 101”

Are you less interested in the history and cultural impacts of elevators, and more in the way they work? Do you want to know how they are powered and what types of equipment are involved in constructing and maintaining an elevator? If the answer is yes, then this is the right book for you. Elevators 101 is exactly what the name suggests: an introduction to the elevator technology, as well as a basic overview of elevator systems and equipment.

Stairs vs. Elevators: Which Is Considered the Safest Way to the Top?

Anywhere you go, at some point you will be faced with the decision to use an elevator or a flight of stairs to reach your destination. Many factors are considered when deciding which method to use. At times, stairs are the common choice when trying to incorporate fitness into your daily routine. Other times, elevators are the prime selection due to the time saved by choosing the quicker route. The last thing on the minds of the masses of people utilizing either method is safety.

When it comes to stairs, there are many factors that can contribute to unsafe conditions. The volume of probability for accidents is much higher when choosing to use the stairs. Stairs have a surface area that can easily be manipulated. Indoor and outdoor stairs can have slippery surfaces, broken handrails, or uneven depth and height within the structure. There are thousands of deaths a year relating to stairway accidents and even more injuries.

An elderly couple in Greater Manchester both died after accidentally falling down the stairs. When Mary Murphy reached to stop her partner John Wood from slipping, she likely also fell. A senior at UCC Ireland died tragically when he fell down campus stairs. The odds are stacked against your safety when it comes to stairs.

Elevators are not without its risk. Although the variables are significantly lower for an accident, there are several cases in which someone has died or been injured as a result of simply choosing to ride an elevator. With the population increasing, high-rises are constantly on the rise. Using an elevator is more of a necessity than using stairs. For some it is the only option. More people use elevators than stairs, yet an elevator accident is less common.

While using the stairs has an array of possible problems, the elevator’s main cause of death is mechanical. Elevators are machines. Like any machine, an elevator can malfunction. For example, a woman in New York was killed when she stepped into a malfunctioning elevator that suddenly thrust upward. That’s why it’s so imperative to have a quality elevator company service elevators regularly to ensure they’re in working order.

Whether or not you are riding an elevator or running up a flight of stairs, the advice is the same: be careful.