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This article is based on issues raised by concerned elevator enthusiasts. The Elevator Community Wiki wishes to advise that while it supports important issues within the elevator community, it does not take any favored position regarding the use of elevator keys. People should make their own evaluations, and decide on their own personal point of view. This article is just a friendly reminder to use caution! It is not saying that you can or cannot do anything.
There has been much debate recently about the acceptability of using elevator keys to mess about with the elevators controls. This includes both elevator keys and elevator door keys. Owning elevator keys is completely legal, but use can be against the law depending on what you use the key for (and on which country or state you are in). The issue has caused quite a lot of conflict between elevator enthusiasts, as some people argue that the continued use of keys is making the elevator community look bad, and that they are setting bad example to minors. Others disagree with the claims of non-key users.
Ultimately, whether you like to use elevator keys or not, you should not be having arguments about it with people who think differently to you. If you want to use elevator keys, that is your choice and you should totally do what you want to do (it is not up to anybody else to stop you)!
Andrew Reams (DieselDucy) has also mentioned that a lot of elevator engineers are aware of Elevator photographers and are very concerned about their activities. He stated that many of the engineers he spoke with were of the impression that elevator enthusiasts were idiots, due to their inappropriate behavior with elevator keys. Andrew said that he could see why the engineers thought that way and agreed with many of them.
Definition of "Elevator Key"
Elevator keys are used for service and firefighting purpose. Elevator keys are also used by engineers to maintain or control the elevators using various special modes. They can also be used to restrict the use of elevator.
Elevator Door Keys are used to unlock and manually open the landing doors of an elevator for the purposes of Maintenance, or to rescue people trapped inside the elevator. Elevator door keys include: Drop Key, Triangle Key, V Key, U Key and any other device used to open elevator landing doors.
Actions involving Elevator Key usage:
Below is a list of actions that are considered "tampering" with working elevators. There is nothing stopping you from doing these, but please take extra care when doing these to stay out of trouble.
> Use of elevator keys to open an inspection cabinet, turn off fans, play with lights, etc. or to put the elevator into independent service is considered "tampering". These operations don't usually cause trouble, but please take care and remember to reset the elevator to how you found it.
> Putting an elevator into fire service mode without authorization is usually safe, however, some (but not all) elevator systems have their fire service mode linked to a fire alarm system or another device that could summon the fire department (fire brigade) upon activation of fire service mode. Summoning the fire services when there is no actual emergency can get you into a lot of trouble, so take extra care.
> Using an elevator key, pass card or any other method to access a restricted floor(s) in an elevator without permission is considered breaking and entering, which can get you sent to prison/jail. Take care when doing this and make sure to not get caught.
Always check your surroundings and look out for CCTV cameras. No matter which action you do.
Nobody is stopping you from taking part in these activities. If you want to, then it is your choice, but please take a moment to examine the situation and be totally sure you want to go ahead with key usage. Using elevator keys can be fun, but when it goes wrong, it goes wrong very quickly and you could find yourself in a very embarrassing situation or in a lot of trouble. Always take note of what could go wrong and the potential consequences of what you are doing.
Lead by Example:
Always think about how your actions influence other people. Think: "Is this the kind of thing minors should be doing?". Many bad things happen because people try out the things they see on the internet or on TV. Why do you think science documentaries have the "Don't try this at home" disclaimer in them? You should always stop and think about the effect your videos have on others, especially young people. Think about whether or not it may influence them to do something that could potentially put them or someone else at risk or in severe danger.
Videos & Photos provide Proof:
Any photos or videos of you using Elevator keys inappropriately (both on YouTube and elsewhere) can be used as evidence against you to prove that you have committed a criminal offense. If you have any concerns about possibly incriminating yourself, we recommend removing any videos or photos that could be incriminating, as a precaution.
It's at your own risk:
Anything you do with regards to elevator keys is done entirely at your own risk. If you attempt anything you have read about in this article, YOU and ONLY YOU are liable. The Elevator Community Wiki is not liable for anything that may happen to you or anyone else as a result of attempting any of the activities listed above.