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Safety Features That Prevent Escalator Accidents

Safety Features That Prevent Escalator Accidents

Escalators have made moving through different levels so much easier and convenient to a lot of people. Its faster and requires less effort to reach higher and lower floors. It does not even have the long waiting time you usually experience with elevators and it can be installed in most places that you can place a stair.

However, there are still inherent dangers from riding an escalator. People must remember that they are riding a moving piece of steel machinery with thousands of small and not so small moving parts.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC around 17,000 people get injured and another 30 people die every year as a result of escalator accidents.

To avoid escalator accidents, all escalators in the United States and Canada are required to abide by the standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers AMSE Standards.

The standards to be followed are the following:

ASME A17.1 Standard for new elevators

ASME 17.3 Standard for old/historic elevators

As per the ASME 17.1, the following safety features are recommended to be placed on every installed escalator.

Antislide devices These are raised circular objects that are often found on the escalator balustrade. They are designed to prevent objects and sometimes people form sliding down the smooth and sometimes slippery metal surface.

Combplate impact switches It stops the escalator automatically if a foreign object is caught between the steps and the comblate.

Deflector brush This refers to the long brush made of stiff bristles that runs up the side of escalators. It is designed to deflect objects like garments, shoes and other things away from the gap between the steps and the skirt board.

Emergency stop button A large red button at the end of each escalator that can be pressed to stop the machine during an emergency.

Extended balustrades These allows the riders to grasp the handrail before stepping into the escalator.

Flat steps These refers to the first two or three steps of the escalator that are flat and parallel to each other. These helps the riders maintain equilibrium or a sense of balance before the step moves up.

Handrail inlet switches These are sensors placed at the bottom and top of the unit that guards the handrail that automatically stops the escalator if something gets caught on those locations.

Handrail speed sensors Usually optical, it monitors the speed of the handrail in comparison to the speed of the steps. It sounds an alarm and automatically stops the escalator if it sees a difference in each others speeds.

Missing step detector It automatically stops escalator in case there is a missing step.

Raised step edges In some models, there is a difference in thread height to keep passengers feet from the skirt board.

Safety instructions Safety sign usually posted near the entrance landing platform of the escalator.

Sensor switch It automatically turns on the escalator when someone is detected on the first step. It automatically shuts off when there are no detected riders.