Such is the nature of the human race, it’s clear that each and every one of us wants to feel as if we’re in some kind of control. Whether it’s having the ability to pull the “emergency stop” handle on a train, or the ability to make traffic lights change colour so that you can cross, we all want to feel as though we’re having some kind of influence on the world around us.
This is exactly why the world is jam-packed with things known as “placebo buttons”- which are buttons with apparent functionality but actually have no effect whatsoever. You’ll find that many pedestrian crossings contain such buttons, simply because people like the feeling of being in control, and the traffic lights are simply on a timed schedule which will not change if you push the button at the crossing.
Well, it just so happens that almost every elevator in the world makes use of a placebo button, as the button to close the doors simply doesn’t do anything. You know the one- it’s the button you frantically press once you’re inside the lift and you can see that annoying co-worker hurrying to get in with you.
In 1990, it became law that every elevator should keep its doors open long enough for a disabled person or someone on crutches to get inside. This means that the close door button had to stop being used, as otherwise the elevators wouldn’t stay open for the required time. As an elevator is expected to last for around 25 years, it’s pretty safe to assume that there are very few left in the world with a functioning close door button.
So the button became completely dormant, but lift companies kept them on the control panel so that passengers still felt as if they had an element of control. But it simply doesn’t matter how desperate you are for the doors to close on that co-worker- because there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
The button does still serve a purpose for firemen and maintenance workers, however, as they are able to make it functional again by using keys or a special code. But for the average passenger, there’s nothing you can do to get the elevator moving any quicker.
Here at Elevators Ltd, we provide a wide range of passenger and platform lifts, and please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated team for any further information regarding the products we have available.