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EESF’s Safe T Riders Program Relaunches

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Superhero characters, digital focus aim to better educate children about elevator and escalator safety.

In August, the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) relaunched its Safe T Riders program for children, and the Foundation is hopeful an effort that, prior to the relaunch, reached more than 500,000 children in the U.S. and Canada annually, will only continue to grow. Media kits detailing the new program and its superhero characters — the decidedly space-age-looking Safe T Boy and Safe T Girl — have gone out to more than 1,500 schools thus far, and EESF staff is in the midst of marketing via email, ordering print materials and tracking interaction on Facebook and on its website, safetyriders.org, using Google Analytics. EESF Chairman Tom Sybert of C.J. Anderson & Co. in Chicago, stated:

“I’m excited about the launch of the new Safe T Riders program. The EESF is at the point where we can strategically target our safety messages online, as well as continue to mail the printed program to schools that are still interested in receiving it that way. The continued work on updating the other safety programs and the creation of the Safety Ambassadors workplace training program is also exciting.”

Prior to the relaunch, children were educated and entertained by a singing, dancing costumed cat character, who “retired” last year. They are now introduced to Safe T Boy and Safe T Girl, who are 8 and 10 years old, respectively. A “bio” sheet in the media kit lists “facts” such as their hobbies (reading and studying history and architecture for Safe T Boy and robotics and swimming for Safe T Girl), and birthdays (November 9 — during Elevator Escalator Safety Week — for Safe T Boy and April 28 —World Health and Safety Day — for Safe T Girl).

They are siblings whose parents are inventors with whom they travel the world as their parents “try out new inventions to help build safer cities.” Giving the characters specific, personal backgrounds gives teachers a way to introduce topics such as world’s tallest buildings and the elevators that serve them, and the history of the elevator. These topics, in turn, naturally lead to the very important topic of safety.

Through the revamped website, children can watch a safety video, answer trivia questions, complete puzzles and fill out an activity sheet. With Safe T Boy and Safe T Girl leading the way, learning about elevator and escalator safety becomes more engaging and fun.

In addition to the Safe T Riders program for children, EESF initiatives include A Safe Ride program for adults and seniors; Rise Up, Safe Rider program for university students; and homeSAFE, an industry-led initiative designed to increase home- elevator safety awareness. The newest program is Safety Ambassadors, designed to help those who work around elevators and escalators to percieve unsafe behavior and correct it.

Whatever one’s age, elevator/escalator safety should never be shrugged off. The media kit provides a rundown of rules for different types of conveyances. For elevators, they are:

  • Watch your step.
  • Leave closing doors alone.
  • If doors don’t open, push the alarm button and wait.
  • If there is a fire in the building, use the stairs.

For escalators and moving walks, they are:

  • Step on and off carefully.
  • People only — no strollers
  • Hold the handrail.
  • Take care of young children.
  • Do not touch the sides below the handrail.
  • Stand facing forward.

For further information about any of the EESF’s programs, visit www.eesf.org

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