9 must-know escalator safety tips to keep your kids safe


Did you know approximately 245 million people ride on escalators each day? They are so commonplace, it’s easy to forget they are complex, 6-ton machines. At Technical Safety BC, we frequently get reports of near misses and incidents on escalators. 

During Elevator and Escalator Safety Awareness Week (November 9 – 15), we remind parents and caregivers of the importance of teaching kids some basic escalator safety tips and modeling safe behaviour yourself. 

Never allow children to play on or near the escalator, or leave children unattended near the escalator. When riding the escalator with your child, teach them to:

  • Stand in the center of the step, within the yellow lines, keeping feet away from the sides.
  • Hold the handrail. (If they are too small to do so, consider taking the elevator!)
  • Keep loose clothing such as scarves away from the edges where they might get caught.
  • Never rest toys, backpacks, or shopping bags on an escalator step.
  • Step off from the escalator as soon as they get to the end.
  • Never sit on the stairs or the railings.
  • Not run up the moving stairs of an escalator, or try to run up the wrong way.
  • Ensure any shoelaces are tied and never get on an escalator barefoot. 
  • Take caution when wearing flip flips and open-toed shoes which are vulnerable to becoming entrapped in escalator sides and exit plates.

Escalators are a convenient and safe way to get around, when you take the appropriate precautions. If you witness an incident on an escalator where someone has been caught in an escalator, hit the “stop” bottom located at the top or the bottom of the escalator and wait for help. You may not be aware of this, but escalators that have been stopped due to a safety issue are not permitted to be turned on again until a Technical Safety BC safety officer has confirmed the system has been serviced and is ready for service.

For more information and interactive learning for children please visit SafetyRiders.org, the website of the Elevator Escalator safety foundation. This is a national non-profit focused on elevator and escalator safety in the US and Canada.

Have you spotted a hazard on an escalator? Report it to us!


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