National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week Starts Today

Over the past seven years, 109 children have been injured in elevator and escalator incidents in the City, including one fatal accident in 2008. In an effort to prevent injuries, since 2004, inspectors from the New York City Buildings Departments Elevators Unit have taught thousands of students how to safely ride the Citys 60,000 elevators and 2,200 escalators and what to do in the event of an emergency.

This week, inspectors will be providing critical safety tips to more than 2,300 first, second and third graders in 16 schools throughout the Citys five boroughs. For the first time since the Department’s annual educational program began, inspectors will be visiting two senior citizen centers in order to provide safety tips to elderly residents.

As part of the elementary school program, students learned the phrase Ring, Relax, Wait, which instructs them to ring the emergency bell when an elevator stalls and wait patiently for help to arrive. When elevators stall, some children attempt to pry elevator doors open, which can result in injury. The phrase is a key component of the Department’s elevator safety program. Inspectors focused on teaching simple techniques to stay safe, such as holding onto railings, staying inside when an elevator stalls and ensuring shoelaces are tied before getting onto escalators.

National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week is an annual educational program promoting elevator and escalator safety awareness throughout New York City. National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week is organized by the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation, a charitable organization formed in 1991 to promote safe elevator and escalator use.

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