Is It Safe To Jump On An Elevator?

You step into the elevator, and the doors start to close. Then, you realize that you forgot something on the other side. Do you risk it and jump over the gap, or do you wait for the next elevator? If you choose to jump, is it safe?

Generally speaking, elevators are very, very safe. They have high weigh limits and protective measures in place, like brakes, that prevent any sort of risk. But you should still treat them with care.

The Dangers Of Jumping Over The Gap

Jumping over the gap between the elevator and the floor can be slightly dangerous. If you misjudge the jump, you could slip on the slippery surface and fall or slide into another passenger, resulting in an argument. You could also jump too short or too late and have the doors close on you. Even thought most elevators have a pressure sensor installed on the doors, this doesn’t always work too well so you could be harmed by the doors.

Jumping When The Elevator Is In Motion

What about if you jump when the elevator is going up or down, is that safe? Usually, yes, this is safe because most elevators have a high weight limit and they expect some movement when traveling. That said, the act of jump creates a dynamic force (your landing) while elevators are designed to accomodate static force (you and the other passengers standing).

The extra foot-pounds of pressure for the jump probably won’t disrupt the operation of the elevator. When this happens with multiple people it’s a much worse idea because you could exceed the weight limit when you land. This is relatively unlikely to cause harm if the elevator has been inspected on schedule and is in good repair, but there is a good chance that you will trip the brakes on the elevator if your group is big enough or the elevator is small enough[1]Elevator Expert Doug Guderian:

This could result in a hefty repair bill, a significant amount of time waiting to be helped out of the elevator, a violation of your lease, and even a fine is the fire department or similar service is required to visit the scene.

So while jumping on an elevator is probably safe, it’s a very bad idea.

Don’t Do It

Elevators are generally safe, but there are some risks associated with them. One of those risks comes from the door and the other from the design of the elevator itself.


1 Elevator Expert Doug Guderian: