3 x 5 Rule For Elevators

As a licensed elevator company, Port City Elevator, Inc. is responsible for ensuring the safe installation of your residential elevator. One of the most significant National Safety Codes that we adhere to is the 3 x 5 rule for elevators. Rule 5.3.1.42 of the National Safety Code for elevators is commonly known as the “3 x 5” code, or the ¬†3 x 5 rule. It states the following:

  • The distance from the back side of the hoistway door and the inner most portion of the hoistway shall not exceed 3 (76 mm) ¬†inches
  • The distance from the back side of the hoistway door and the elevator gate shall not exceed 5 (127 mm) inches

Anyone caught between the hoistway and elevator gate can be seriously or even fatally injured. Port City Elevator monitors all of its projects to verify that this code is meet, and ensures complete safety for you and your family. Port City Elevator ensures compliance with the ASME ANSI A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators Part 5.3 Private Residence Elevators. The set of standards for elevators was issued by ASME in 1921 and originally contained safety provisions for switches, door locking mechanisms and speed and was a 25 page publication. Today, ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, is a binational code containing more than 350 pages and includes guidelines for technologies that did not exist when the publication was instituted. The figure below is an illustration from the publication and depicts the standards and guidelines outlined for the “3 x 5 Rule” as it has become known. Additional guidelines are included such as:

  • Placement of the finished edge of flooring. Recommended placement: 3 inches from back of door or extend beyond edge of shaft
  • 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inch running clearance
  • Thickness of the landing door: 1 3/4 inches thick which is in lieu of the standard 1 1/2 inch door
  • Trim recommendations: 1/4 inches maximum or not trim at all is preferred

3 x 5 rule for elevators explained


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