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Elevator Escalator Safety-Do's And Don'ts

Updated on July 6, 2011

What Would We Ever Do Without Elevators And Escalators

Elevators, escalators,and moving sidewalks are the most efficient mass transit systems in the world. Millions of people across the globe ride in millions of elevators to reach their offices,apartments,super markets,public offices,condos,etc. in high rise buildings everyday. Major airports across the world have a system of escalators and moving sidewalks for easy transit of passengers and baggage.

This hub is an effort to create and increase public awareness which is necessary to highlight the basic guidelines for safety that are to be followed at all costs while using an elevator or escalator. Public apathy sometimes is the cause for accidents that could be prevented. The most at risk are senior citizens and young children. Injuries can be fatal at times. A little care makes for a safe use of these most efficient systems which form an essential part of our everyday life.

Be Safe While Riding The Elevator

The first safety passenger elevator was designed in 1853 by Elisha Graves Otis. There are 2 types of elevators in use - the traction type that is used in buildings with more than 5 floors and the hydraulic kind for use in buildings with 2-5 floors. Researchers have made sure that our ride in elevators are safe and comfortable . But it is our duty to follow the guidelines given to practice safe use with family, pets and friends. Computers are programmed to provide rapid service to control modern elevators.

When you reach the elevator door,push the CALL button only once.Pushing the button repeatedly or pushing both buttons at once slows the service to your floor. When the elevator doors open,make sure you follow the following simple safety rules.

1. Watch your step.The car may not be perfectly aligned to the floor.

2. Exit immediately at your floor as soon as the door opens.Do not wait for those behind you.

3. The DOOR OPEN button can be held by someone within the car to keep the doors open until you alight.

4. Never stop closing elevator doors with your feet,hands,or canes.Wait for the next elevator.

5. In case of a fire in the building,it is wise to use the stairs.Do not use the elevator.

6. Stand clear of the doors.

7. Hold pets,parcels and small children firmly.

8. In case of an elevator stopping between floors,DO NOT PANIC.

a)Push the ALARM button to call for assistance. Alternately,you may use the car’s telephone if provided.

b)Wait for help to arrive. Do not pry the doors open or try to crawl out through the roof of the car.It is dangerous.

c)Take deep breaths and keep your mind off PANIC. Remember that there is enough air circulating.

d)Sit down while you wait.The majority of injuries have occurred when the elevator suddenly begins to move.

e)If the elevator doors have opened between floors,never try to get out,even if somebody wants to assist you.

f)If there is a power failure,wait for the emergency lighting to take over.

g)Extra carefulness is recommended

If you are under medication that makes you drowsy, or affects your vision or mobility, avoid going alone.

If you use a cane,walker or wheelchair.

If you wear bifocals or prescription glasses that you are not used to yet.

Use Escalators Safely

Today,escalators are more common than elevators. The first escalator was designed by Jesse Renno in 1892.Escalator is a power-driven,continuous inclined stairway.This can move 4000-7000 people an hour.It can rise from 4 feet to over a hundred feet.It can skip floors or stop at every floor. Escalator is the most efficient form of vertical transportation available today.

Simple safety rules apply while using escalators as well. Most accidents occur as a result of FALLING.

Before you get on

  1. If you are using canes,walkers or wheel chairs,stop and take an elevator instead.
  2. Do not ride barefoot or with untied shoelaces.
  3. Make sure you get on to the right escalator going in the direction you want.
  4. If you are riding with small children,make sure they are held firmly.
  5. If you are wearing loose or long clothing,hold it carefully.
  6. If you have packages to hold,hold firmly with one hand as you grasp the handrail with the other.
  7. Step on and off promptly.

When riding the escalator

  1. Stand toward the centre of the step and face forward.
  2. Do not rest your parcels or handbag on the handrail.
  3. Keep loose/long clothing clear of the sides.
  4. Be alert.

When alighting the escalator

  1. Walk off promptly without any hesitation.
  2. Move away immediately so as to enable those behind you to alight as well.

In case of emergency

Push one of the STOP buttons provided at the top or the bottom landings of the escalator(on the handrail or floorlevel).

Moving Sidewalks

An escalator moving while people can walk with their luggage is a moving sidewalk. Safety rules that apply here are the same as those for an escalator.

  1. If you wish to walk,walk on the left and if you wish to stand as it moves,stand to the right.
  2. In addition,keep a firm grip on the handrail.

Enjoy a safe ride everyday adhering to these simple guidelines on safety.

Prevention of accidents and injuries is crucial to safety while riding elevators and escalators.

Were You Witness To Any Accident On An Elevator/Escalator?

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    • Purple Perl profile imageAUTHOR

      Purple Perl 

      8 years ago from Bangalore,India


      Thanks for sharing your story,and I am truly glad that the leash of your doggie broke at the right time. Just be thankful and do not think of the negative.Enjoy your doggies! I have 2 as well!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      OMG!!! My 2 little doggies (both leashed)and I were going up on the elevator at our vacation condo. The elevator opened on a wrong floor and one of my doggies darted out. The elevator began moving up with me still holding the handle to the leash. The leash finally broke and I was left with the handle end in my hand. OMG!! I almost had a HA!! When I got back to the floor where the dog got off, thank the "The Force," she was waiting on me. Question?? If the leash had not broken, Would the dog have been hanged?? lp

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i dont like elavators

    • Purple Perl profile imageAUTHOR

      Purple Perl 

      8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks Julie for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Having done a great deal of research on escalators following a catastrophic accident, I think it is important to add to this article than escalators are not ment to be used as stairs. They are designed in most cases, such that the step up or rise of the escalator step is larger than a natural human gait allows for. Falls on stopped escalators are much more likely than a fall on an ordinary stair. In fact escalators are not intended to be walked up at all though some escalators will actually say right on them, "walk left, stand right"

      The hazards to watch out for on an escalator include an draw-in hazard where the steps enter the floor. Soft soled shoes are not recommended as they can become trapped by the comb plate where the steps enter the floor.

      The side edges of the steps, can also draw in shoe laces, little fingers and loose clothing.

      A handrail that moves at a different speed than the step can cause loss of balance.

      Sudden stops can cause loss of balance.

      An obstruction of the escalator path by a trapped article such as luggage, or by someone who falls can cause the escalator to force riders into the obstruction with resulting injury.

      ...And those hazards assume the escalator is working properly.

      Please exercise care using escalators

    • Purple Perl profile imageAUTHOR

      Purple Perl 

      9 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks for sharing your Eiffel Tower experience,Princessa! Must have been torturous,and yet the elevator must have looked more treacherous.

      I am sure glad that this hub reassured you.

      Yes,ladyvenus,all of us have to save time and energy by using lifts at work or just about everywhere. It is a curious thing that what was designed for our convenience and safety should in fact frighten us. And we tend to focus on the negative while riding the elevator. It is worthwhile to note that we need to focus on something else,say,the work we have before us as we alight,to keep our mind off you know what.......

      GeneriqueMedia,thanks for stopping by to comment.

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      9 years ago from Earth

      Good Hub. =)

      "My favorite invention is the escalator, because it can never break. Only temporarily become stairs, sorry for the convienece."-Mitch Hedberg

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the info of this hub. I'm just too scared of elavator most of the time I get dizzy when I'm inside. If the building is not high how I wish I can use my legs than using the elavator but what can I do. I really need to use elabator so thanks for the info.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      I have never been comfortable in either, to the extreme that I have climbed the Eiffel tower on foot, at least the 367 steps to the first level rather than use the lifts!

      This hub is reassuring!

    • Purple Perl profile imageAUTHOR

      Purple Perl 

      9 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Yes,Aniket. I know the feeling. This is the reason why I chose to write on this particular topic.

    • aniketgore profile image


      9 years ago from India

      In my office elavators close down anywhere due to power failuer . Its really scary one exp.


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