Types of Elevator Doors and Their Associated Safety Requirements

There are several types of elevator doors out there, from standard passenger elevators to stair chairs and wheelchair lifts. Each one has a different type of door that comes with different safety requirements.

Elevator Door Types

A Look at the Types of Doors

Single slide doors are the most popular type in this country, involving one section that opens one way to allow passengers entry into the car. Check out these elevator door types:

  1. Single slide right hand: One panel slides open from the left, looking from inside the elevator.
  2. Single slide left hand: One panel slides open from the right, looking from inside the elevator.
  3. Single slide center opening: Panels on either side join together in the center when closing and push away from the other when opening. These are very common and are most used in high rises.
  4. Two-speed center opening: Two panel sections on either side join together in the center when closing and push away from the other when opening. Two-speeds are usually seen in service and freight elevators, as well as small passenger elevators where there is little space.
  5. Two-speed left hand/right hand: Two panel sections slide open from the right-hand side, from the view inside the elevator, and vice versa. When inside the walls, they layer one behind the other, then when closing, they straighten out into line with the other.
  6. Three-speed left hand/right hand: Just like above yet using three panels; ideal for freight elevators that need wider openings. These last two options are rare but can be used in heavier-duty vehicle and freight elevators – some with up to six panels!
  7. Vertical bi-parting style: Used for freight elevators, the doors go up rather than side to side, like a garage door.
  8. Swing hoist-way door: This style folds in and out to close, sort of like a pantry closet, best for very tight spaces.

A Look at Safety Considerations

Each door type features a different degree of safety. Manual or fold-able types of elevator doors are riskier to use than modern automatic ones, but like all elevators in this country, they still have to go through regular inspections once a year by certified inspectors.

Elevator doors and cabs are complicated units, but in terms of the actual doors, there are two main safety components in place that ensure:

  • The doors only open when the hatch door pickup rollers and the car door clutch align, and when the car has made a full stop at a designated floor.
  • Manually opening the elevator doors when the car is in between floors is not possible through the use of door restrictors.

Want to learn more about the types of elevator doors we service and install? Call Mowrey Elevator at 800-441-4449