SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal have proclaimed November 13-19, 2011 as the National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week in Illinois. The objective of this week is to create safety awareness among residents when riding elevators, escalators and moving walks. Governor Pat Quinn issued a special proclamation to motivate the public to be observant and cautious when using elevators, escalators or moving walks.
There are an estimated 700,000 elevators and 35,000 escalators in the United States and over 210 billion riders use elevators or escalators each year. There are approximately 9,700 elevator accidents and 12,000 escalator accidents in the U.S. annually.
“With proper education and awareness almost all those accidents can be preventable. Every rider, especially children and seniors, who use elevators or escalators should follow the proper guidelines before entering and after exiting those transportation methods,” said Bob Capuani, Director of the Elevator Safety Division for OSFM.
OSFM offers the following elevator and escalator safety checklist:
- Approaching the elevator
- Know your destination. Push the Up or Down button for the direction you want to go.
- Stand aside for exiting passengers.
- Wait for the next car if the elevator is full.
- Don’t try to stop a closing door with anything including hands, feet or canes. Wait for the next elevator.
- Take the stairs if there is a fire in the building—do not use the elevator.
- Entering and exiting the elevator
- Enter and exit carefully. Watch your step.
- Hold children firmly.
- Stand clear of the doors – keep clothes and carry-ons away from the opening.
- Push and hold the Door Open button if doors need to be held open, or ask someone to push the Door Open button for you.
- Riding the elevator
- Stand back from the doors.
- Hold the handrail, if available.
- Pay attention to the floor indications.
- If the doors do not open when the elevator stops, push the Door Open button.
- If there is an emergency—use the provided phone or intercom system.
- Be considerate. Keep elevator clean for passenger comfort.
- Before entering escalators or moving walkways
- No hand trucks or hand carts.
- No freight.
- No wheelchairs, strollers or baby buggies.
- No walkers or wheeled vehicles.
- No loose clothing—clogs, flip flops, soft-soled shoes or scarves.
- Be careful when carrying hanging clothes.
- No running or walking—stand still.
- Don’t ride barefoot or with loose shoelaces.
- Parents - supervise the conduct and activity of your children.
- Use emergency button in emergency situations only.
- Entering escalators or moving walkways
- Check the direction of the moving steps.
- Step on and off promptly.
- Take extra care if you are wearing bifocals.
- Hold children or small packages firmly in one hand.
- Grasp the handrail as you step promptly onto the moving step.
- Don’t crowd the escalator. Leave enough room for emergency situations.
- Riding escalators or moving walkways
- Stand toward the middle of the step – away from the sides and face forward. Don’t lean against the sides.
- Don’t allow children to sit on steps.
- Do not sit umbrellas on steps.
- Keep a firm grip on the handrail. Reposition your hand slowly if the handrail moves ahead or behind the steps. Escalators may stop for safety precautions.
- Don’t rest your handbag or parcels or any other objects on the handrail or steps or anywhere. Keep objects in hands at all times.
- Pay attention. Don’t window-shop while riding.
- Exiting escalators or moving walkways
- Be sensitive to those in front of you.
- Don’t hesitate. Step off promptly.
- Immediately move clear of the escalator exit area – don’t stop to talk or look around. Other passengers may be behind you.
For more information about the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) or National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week, contact EESF at (800) 949-6442 or info@EESF.org. For more information about fire safety and prevention, please visit www.state.il.us/osfm or www.nfpa.org.