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For Immediate Release
November 14, 2013


Experts from the Department’s Elevators Unit Will Teach Elementary School Students to “Ring, Relax, Wait,” in an Emergency Involving an Elevator or Escalator

Inspectors Offer Tips to Stay Safe While Riding the City’s 60,000 Elevators

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today announced the start of the Department’s 10th Annual Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week at Public School 2- Meyer London on the Lower East Side, Manhattan. Each year, experts from the Department visit New York City public schools during Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week, a national program organized by the non-profit Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation. As part of the program, inspectors from the Department’s Elevators Unit will teach second and third grade students to “Ring, Relax, and Wait” if they experience an emergency while riding in an elevator. With over 60,000 elevators and escalators throughout New York City, it is important that all New Yorkers – but especially children – know how to stay safe while riding these devices. This year, the Department will share this critical public safety information with over 1,700 students citywide.

“Living in New York City, elevators and escalators are a part of our daily lives and it is possible to forget that serious injuries can happen if the proper precautions are not taken,” said Commission LiMandri. “Our goal is to begin safety education early and provide children with easy-to-remember tips that they can use to protect themselves and their families. Knowledge has the power to save lives; and we are proud to help bring this nationwide educational program to New York City schools.”

During each school visit, the Safety Awareness Week mascot “Safe-T Rider” - a dancing, singing cat - teaches students tips such as “if the elevator isn't level with the floor, then you should be alert that much more.” Students are encouraged to learn the elevator safety slogan, “Ring, Relax, Wait,” which reminds children that in an emergency, they should first ring the elevator’s safety bell, then wait for help to arrive – instead of trying to pry open the doors and get out of the elevator, which can result in serious injury. At the end of the class, students are each given a certificate of competition, a “Junior Inspector” badge, an educational coloring book and the Department’s Elevator/Escalator Safety Flyer, which is printed in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Chinese. Students are encouraged to bring the materials home and share what they learned with their families.

Some tips for riding elevators and escalators include:

  • Step on and off of elevators/escalators carefully
  • Make sure elevators are level with the floor before exiting
  • Always face forward when riding on escalators and hold onto the handrails
  • Never touch the sides below the escalator’s handrails
  • Keep items like loose clothing, ties, scarves and shoelaces clear of closing elevator doors and the spaces between escalator steps
  • Avoid jumping in elevators; it can cause them to be uneven with the floor and/or stall
  • Don’t use any part of your body to hold the elevator doors open
  • Never lean on the elevator doors or attempt to pry them open

National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week is organized by the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF), a non-profit organization formed in 1991 with the mission of using informational programs to educate the public on the safe and proper use of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Under the guide of the EESF, hundreds of thousands of elevator and escalator safety classes are taught every year throughout the United States. As part of the program, the EESF provides some of materials used during the Department’s presentations. Additional elevator and escalator safety tips can be found on the Department’s website at

Contact: Kelly Magee/Gloria Chin (212) 393 - 2126
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