Finances & Money

Safety Tip: Riding an Elevator

In one of my old jobs, I doubled as “Safety Coordinator” where I was responsible for providing quarterly educational events where we instructed our staff of 120+ employees and contractors about various safety topics.

In this session of “Clever Safety Tips“, I’d like to teach all of you a few important tips for protecting yourself in an elevator.

Question: When you enter an elevator, where should you stand?

A. In the rear, so other people can get on.
B. In the front, by the buttons

Answer: B, In the front, by the buttons. Why? Well, let’s suppose you get on the elevator and stand in the back. Another person gets on and blocks your ability to get to the doors. The person becomes threatening and may even attack you. What can you do? Only try to fight back.

Well, if you were standing by the buttons, here’s what you should do:


That’s right, you hit every single button so the elevator is forced to stop at every floor. That gives you a chance to get off and run, or for others to help you. Screw being polite and moving to the back! Sure, get out of the way so they can get on the elevator, but stand your ground. Oh, and don’t bother hitting that alarm button. Use your energy to try to claw the attacker’s eyes out!

On that note, this was a public service announcement from your friendly safety coordinator, Clever Dude.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • Samwise, I understand that the Shire doesn’t have elevators so perhaps you don’t understand what us real humans worry about with regards to safety. In the big city like here in Washington, D.C., there are bad people who want to hurt you, and you never know where they’re lurking. Also, since, as a hobbit, you’re a smaller person, you might want to care about protecting yourself from bigger beings.

    Think of them as trolls or goblins. Perhaps you’re one of the trolls trying to disguise yourself as a hobbit. Maybe you should go back to the mountain where your main form of transportation is crawling around in tunnels and cave ceilings. Leave the elevator riding to us humans.

  • I like the elevator idea. Fortunately, I work in a hospital and the elevator always stops on every floor anyway. But I’ll remember that, especially when I’m in unfamiliar places.

  • P.S. As a woman, I don’t think it’s paranoid to write about this…1 in 4 college-age women is raped (including date rape)…and I don’t want that to be me. I can’t do everything, but I can do something.

  • Samwise, obviously you don’t live in reality and you’re a troll. Carrying a gun is fine if you’re a truck driver, but try doing it in the corporate world and you’ll be flagged as a dangerous psycho (as you should be). Who’s the paranoid one who thinks they need to carry a gun around?

    But yes, learn self-defense. However, for people the size of Stacie versus someone my size in a confined space, there’s no chance for her except slashing, gashing, biting and clawing…oh, and pushing the buttons 🙂

  • foot to the groin!!!!

    seriously, stacie could take down an attacker

    also, there is pepperspray and other stuff

    i think if i saw someone hitting all the buttons, that would cause me to become an attacker 🙂

  • Elevators can be quite dangerous, thanks for the tip. I had a reality flash with an incident that shook me up when I was visiting New York this summer that started in an elevator. I’ve been hesitant getting in an elevator since and have been taking the stairs.

    And alas, that is the real world.

  • Samwise doesn’t realize that in DC it is illegal to have a handgun of any sort. Doesn’t he listen to the news about Supreme Court cases? It was all over NPR this fall when the court opened in October.

    This is great advice. Me, personally, I hate slow people and slow elevators. Therefore, I like to commandeer the elevator button panel and act as the elevator man by politely holding the OPEN DOOR button to let people file out, and hitting the CLOSE DOOR button as soon as they are off. By making this your habit, you seem like a nice enough person and you get to hit all the buttons to light them up as you suggest. You also can hit the ALARM button, which perhaps is your best tactic when being beaten up in an elevator.

    PS. Samwise, I do carry pepper spray, but it is unwise to set it off in an elevator. Really. You aren’t a Hobbit so much as a troll.

  • Thanks for the comment Mapgirl. One thing is that the alarm button doesn’t really do much for you. It’s like when your car alarm goes off in a parking lot. No one comes running anymore. You’re better off hitting all the floor buttons and then being defensive/offensive to the attacker while the elevator moves.

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