Mayoral Proclamation 2014

Rahm_officialPhoto[1]City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proclamed November 9-15, 2014 the 20th Annual Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week in Chicago. The elevator community and the EESF appreciates the mayors support.

Official Proclamation
Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week_2014.pdf

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Elevator Safety Rules

When you approach an elevator:

– Know your destination. Push elevator call button for the direction you want to go.
– Stand aside for exiting passengers.
– Wait for the next car, if the elevator is full.
– Take the stairs if there is a fire
– Do not try to stop a closing door. Wait for the next elevator.

  • When you enter and leave an elevator:

    – Enter and exit carefully. Step up or down if the elevator floor and hall floor are not level.
    – Hold children and pets firmly.
    – Stand clear of the doors – keep clothes and carry-ons away from the opening.
    – Push and hold the DOOR OPEN button if the doors need to be held open, or ask someone to push the button for you.

  • When riding on the elevator:

    – Stand next to the elevator wall.
    – 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.

  • What to Do in the Event of a Delay

    – Push or pull the Alarm button to call for assistance.
    – Phone for help, if a phone is available. An intercom or hands free phone may be available. Follow instructions for their use.
    – Pry not! Do not force open the elevator doors. Do not attempt to leave the elevator.
    – Patience, please. You are safe and there is plenty of air. So relax and wait for help

Types of Elevators

  • Hydraulic Elevator (in buildings of 2-5 floors)

    Moves the elevator car by pumping oil in and out of a steel cylinder — like the auto lifts in a car repair shop.

  • Traction Elevator (usually in buildings with more than 5 floors)

    An electric motor moves the enclosed car and a counter-weight between steel tracks. This car is suspended by a series of steel cables wrapped around a rotating drive which makes the car go up and down. Any single cable can support many times the weight of a fully loaded car.

Elevator Myths & Fears

  • MYTH: Many people believe elevators are held up by only one rope that can break, leaving passengers trapped in a falling car.

    TRUTH: Elevators are supported by multiple steel cables. Each cable alone can support a fully loaded car.

  • MYTH: Some people believe they have been in an elevator where the elevator car fell several floors and then “caught itself”.

    TRUTH: This feeling is a mystery. Elevator experts believe people may think this happened because they 1) got on an elevator going in a different direction than expected, or 2) saw the elevator floor indicator lights flash by quickly which gave the visual impression of falling.

  • MYTH: Some people believe the hall doors will open when an elevator is not there.

    TRUTH: The truth is that the elevator car controls whether the hall doors open. If the car is not at the landing, the hall doors can’t open because their opening can only be triggered by the arriving car engaging an unlocking device after the elevator has stopped at the landing.

  • MYTH: Some people believe that if an elevator is stuck between floors that they are in danger of falling and should try to get out.

    TRUTH: Absolutely not! Leaving the car on your own could result in injury. Elevator cars are designed as “safe rooms”. The safest place is inside the car. Ring the alarm and wait for help. Leave the car only with the assistance of professional rescuers.

  • MYTH: Pushing the CALL button repeatedly will make the elevator appear faster.

    TRUTH: The call is registered just once; movement is in response to the elevator controllers.

  • MYTH: Pushing the DOOR CLOSE button closes the doors faster.

    TRUTH: It may cause the doors to close sooner, but not faster. However, if a buzzer sounds, the doors may close slower; it is important to get out of the doorway as quickly as possible.


    Elevator Rules & Rationale

    Enter and exit carefully. Observe the entrance floor. Step up or down if elevator floor and hall floor aren’t level with each other. Before entering, stand aside and allow exiting passengers to get off.

    It is very important to pay attention to the level of the floor when entering and exiting an elevator. On occasion, the hall floor may not be exactly even with the elevator floor. Paying attention will prevent passengers from tripping. Step over the gap.

    Watch for closing doors. Only touch or stop them if they are expected to interfere with passage.

    Although many elevators doors are provided with protective edges designed to reopen when touched they should be treated like any moving equipment. Contact should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. It is also important to enter and exit quickly. Press or ask another passenger to press the door open button (reversing the doors) to allow a slow mover the time to enter or exit. Stand clear, let the doors close and keep both your and children’s hands and clothing away from the doors.

    If the doors don’t open when the elevator stops, ring the alarm button and wait. Never force the doors open or try to exit.

    Attempting to force the doors open is dangerous because the elevator could resume travel without warning and seriously injure someone. For some it will be difficult to wait but alternatives are much worse. The inside of the elevator is the safest place. There are plenty of dangers in the hoistway which is not designed for people. Only trained specialists know how to safely remove passengers or restart the elevator. Chances of the elevator falling are extremely rare as any one of the many required cables can individually hold a fully loaded elevator in place. Even under the horrifying conditions of the World Trade Center bombing, hundreds trapped in elevators were rescued by elevator industry specialists and firemen, many in minutes. Use the alarm button or stay on the phone if there is one, stay calm and most importantly stay inside. When help arrives, follow instructions for a safe exit.

    In case of fire, never use the elevator, use the stairs.

    Building codes require exit stairwells to provide a good measure of protection in case of fire. Stairwell doors are heavy and usually totally enclosed and well lighted and designed to protect people from smoke and fire. In addition, on stairs you control the option of going up or down to avoid the fire and smoke. Elevator shafts are often not sealed and act as a chimney thereby attracting the smoke.

    Most modern elevators are programmed to automatically return to the ground floor when the alarm is triggered. They will shut down and remain available for fire fighters only, so they won’t respond to calls. You may waste precious time in a fire waiting for an elevator that doesn’t come. Always use the stairs.

    If those in authority determine that it is safe for the building occupants to use certain elevators, announcements will be made. Follow directions.

    A handicapped individual would be safer moving to the stairwell to await rescue or to be carried down away from the fire and smoke. Those in authority may direct otherwise and their instructions should be followed.

    Above tips are shared from the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation – visit for more information.

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