Pop quiz: What is one of the most important things you should do while riding an escalator?

Answer: Always hold onto the handrail.

While that is extremely important, it also poses a problem. With all the people who ride an escalator every day, every one of those riders has their own unique mix of microbes living on the palms of their hands. Most are harmless, and some are even beneficial — but some are not. And this figurative zoo of microbes gets deposited, layer by layer, on an escalator handrail every single day.

It’s like a microbe superhighway, transferring a whole village of little travelers from one person to another, every minute, every hour.

Most are harmless … but some are not so harmless, such as … well, you know. That one. The one that’s set the entire world into turmoil.

The subject of germs on escalator handrails has unfortunately prompted news organizations to actually advise people to not hold onto the handrails: CBS News Article

It’s extremely important to hold onto that handrail for safety, so what’s the solution to this problem? It’s not like you can require all riders to wear gloves. It’s also not a good idea to constantly slather the surface of a handrail with alcohol or other disinfectants, because it might make the handrail slippery, and also it may hasten the deterioration of the handrail material itself.

The good news is there is a solution. In fact, it’s a really good solution: ultraviolet light, or UV-C rays.

What if you could put a small, easy to install and maintain, low power module into the escalator itself which continuously blasts UV-C wavelengths onto the surface of a handrail? Something that sterilizes the entire surface of the handrail with every revolution? So while people are unwittingly depositing their little microbial hitchhikers on the handrail, the bugs are instantly zapped within minutes as the handrail disappears into the balustrade and passes through the ultraviolet emitter?

If you think this is a good idea, we agree with you, and we have exactly this solution.

This is an Ultraviolet Handrail Sterilizer, and it does precisely what you’d want it to do: constantly sanitize the handrail as it runs through the escalator.

Not only does this solve the problem of disinfecting the handrail, but if you advertise the fact that it’s happening with a sign by the escalator, you encourage people to actually use the handrails (which they might not have been doing for fear of all the germs).

This increases the safety of the riding public by reducing the infection vector and encouraging them to use one of the most important safety features of an escalator.

For more information, see our product page here:

The Ultraviolet Handrail Sterilizer is only one part of our KONE Spares Engineered Escalator Solutions, a collection of mods and upgrades to make older escalators new again.