By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
LANSING, MI (WNEM) -
This is Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week across Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder made that proclamation in an effort to educate parents, senior citizens and other consumers about safety tips to prevent avoidable incidents and accidents. The state of Michigan has more than 27,000 elevators and escalators.
"The goal of Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week is to draw the public's attention to the safe and responsible use of elevators, escalators and moving walks," said Irvin J. Poke, director of the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). "Every year we receive reports of incidents and accidents that may have been avoided if consumers followed common sense safety tips."
Children and senior citizens are considered the most at-risk of being injured. Parents should recognize the importance of preventing children from riding elevators and escalators unattended, and not using strollers or putting luggage on escalators. Some of the most serious injuries reported for elevators and escalators are due to falls, particularly involving riders over the age of 65 years old.
Falls and other accidents may be avoided by following these safety tips:
Enter and exit carefully. Step up or down if elevator floor and hall floor are not level with one another.
Watch out for closing doors. Do not touch closing doors or try to stop them from closing.
Keep clothes and carry-ons away from the opening.
If the doors do not open when the elevator stops, ring the alarm button and wait. Never force the doors open or try to exit.
In the event of a fire, never use the elevator, use the stairs.
Escalators and Moving Walks
Check the direction of the moving steps.
Step on and off promptly and with care, and take extra care if you wear bifocals.
Passengers only on escalators: no strollers, luggage, walkers, or carts of any type.
Always stand facing forward; grasp the handrail as you step promptly onto the moving step; keep a firm grip on the handrails and avoid the sides under the rail.
Hold children and small packages firmly with one hand; don't rest parcels on the handrail. Don't allow children to sit on the steps.
Be careful of loose clothing, scarves, untied shoelaces, high heels, flip flops, jewelry, long hair, and any other item that might get caught in an escalator.
Move quickly away from exit areas; don't stop, other passengers are behind you.
An escalator standing still is not just a set of stairs and should not be used in that manner. The risk of tripping is increased when used that way since escalator steps are not the correct height for normal walking.
On moving walks, stationary passengers should stay to the right and let walking passengers pass on the left.
Do not crowd the escalator. Leave enough room for emergency situations.
Elevator Escalator Safety Week has been recognized nationally since 1994. The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation estimates there are 900,000 elevators and 35,000 escalators nationwide.
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