Skip To Content

Elevator Drop Keys

Elevator Drop Keys

Northeast Lock sells Elevator drop keys that are made from the highest quality materials to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Elevator Drop keys are specific tools used to unlock a hoistway access door and provide manual access to the elevator shaft or cab from the outside. Generally, an opening (usually a small hole or escutcheon) can be seen in the upper portion of a door when you are standing outside an elevator. There are multiple mechanisms that are used to unlock the door via this method and each manufacturer has their own specific tool. The reason why this group of devices started being called drop keys is because once you slide a portion of the device through the hole in the door, it drops down, allowing the user to turn and move an access latch or locking mechanism out of the way which unlocks the doors.

Different manufacturers have slightly different dimensions of their holes and where the key drops or bends. Many customers prefer to purchase the Drop Key kit, which consists of all of the different types, preparing them for any situation. These are used on GAL, Westinghouse, Otis, TKE and Schindler doors. There is not a universal key for all manufacturers.

Lunar keys are also used for this same purpose. These keys consist of a straight rod that is the shape of a semi-circle.

These keys should only be used by authorized personnel who are trained to work on open elevator shafts. The doors can be open when the elevator is not present, which can be very dangerous. ASME A17.1 requires that hoistway door releases be used only by inspectors and maintenance staff. They can also be used by emergency response staff.

Once the hoistway is open, maintenance staff will often use a Hoistway Access lock to move the elevator cab up or down to gain access to the pit or to the top of the elevator for inspection and maintenance.