Elevators are one of safest types of accessibility systems. However, improper use of elevators, escalators, and any other accessibility device can result in serious injuries, even fatal ones.

Elevators are indispensable in multi-story businesses, apartment complexes, shopping malls, and other public places. Many modern homes also have elevators. Elevator safety in malls and airports is a matter of great concern, especially during the shopping season. To promote public safety awareness for accessibility equipment such as elevators and escalators, the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) observes National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week in the U.S. and Canada during the second week of November. This year, this annual event was held from November 11-17.

Certain factors that can cause or contribute to elevator accidents and resulting injuries include sudden stops, broken cables, power failures, and faulty doors. Education and greater understanding can help reduce avoidable accidents. Following these simple guidelines can help improve passenger safety in elevators:
While waiting for the elevator,

  • stand clear of the elevator doors and provide space for exiting passengers
  • don’t attempt to maneuver in or stop closing doors – wait for the next car
  • in case of fire in the building, take the stairs

When boarding and riding an elevator,

  • watch your step when entering and exiting to avoid tripping
  • stand next to the walls, away from the door
  • hold your children and pets firmly
  • keep clothes and carry-ons away from the door
  • press the alarm button or use the telephone if the doors don’t open
  • If the elevator stops en route, don’t try to climb out; there is plenty of air in the cab

Escalator injuries can occur when clothes, shoes or even toes get caught inside the mechanism. Mismatched steps can also cause the rider to trip. If the escalator stops suddenly, users can fall or injure themselves. When riding an escalator, carry small packages in one hand and hold the handrail with the other. Avoid stepping onto an escalator going in the opposite direction.

Homeowners and businesses investing in elevators should also make sure that the system they buy comes with all the necessary safety features. Manufacturers such as Savaria, Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators, Cambridge Elevating Inc, Garaventa Lift, or Stiltz offer high quality elevators. Purchase from a reliable elevator company will ensure professional installation as well as excellent maintenance support.