WASHINGTON, June 24, 2021 / PRNewswire / – https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2021/Vacation-Rental-Homes-Can-Pose-a-Deadly-Hazard-Kids-Can-Be-Crushed-to-Death-in-Dangerous- Home-Elevator-Gaps
Vacation rental homes have become a popular alternative to hotels and motels during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds travelers to take safety with them, especially when staying in vacation homes with residential elevators.
Residential elevators can be life threatening. Consumers who have a residential elevator at home or use one in vacation rentals should know that the push of a button can quickly turn into tragedy. In fact, residential elevators have been linked to 4,600 injuries and 22 deaths from 1981 to 2019.
The CPSC is warning consumers with residential elevators and those visiting homes with elevators to be aware of a deadly gap that can exist between the elevator door and the exterior (that is to say, elevator shaft) door inside the house. Children, some as young as two, as young as 16, have been crushed to death in that gap. In some incidents, children have suffered multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, traumatic asphyxia and other horrific and permanent injuries.
A deadly loophole:
The distance between the interior door or barrier of the elevator car and the exterior door of the elevator shaft inside the house may be too deep to protect young children. If the space is too deep between an exterior landing door and the point furthest from the cabin door (which is often an accordion door), a child can enter and close the exterior landing door without opening the interior cabin door, and get trapped between the two doors, causing serious injury or death when the elevator car moves.
Residential elevators are typically found in multi-story homes, townhouses, vacation homes, and rentals, in addition to larger homes that have been converted to hostels or guesthouses. Elevator installers should never leave a space more than four inches deep in an elevator entrance, as measured in accordance with ASME A17.1-2016 Safety code for elevators and escalators.
How to protect children and close the gap:
- Safety conscious consumers of elevators should either lock the elevator itself in an unusable position or lock all exterior doors (housing) of the elevator.
- The CPSC urges consumers to have a qualified elevator inspector examine their home elevator for this dangerous gap and other potential safety risks, ensuring the elevator meets the requirements of ASME A17.3-2017. Safety code for existing elevators and escalators.
- Dangerous spaces can be eliminated by placing space guards on the back of the outer well door or by installing an electronic monitoring device that deactivates the elevator when a child is detected in the space. Consumers can contact their elevator manufacturer, or elevator installer, to obtain these essential safety features and protect children from this hidden danger.
Residential elevator recalls:
- Check www.cpsc.gov for residential elevator recalls. If the elevator has been recalled, contact the company doing the recall and get the solution right away.
- The CPSC has worked with manufacturers to recall residential elevators for various hazards:
- Otis Elevator Company Residential Elevators, December 17, 2020, https://cpsc.gov/Recalls/2020/otis-elevator-company-recalls-to-inspect-private-residence-elevators-due-to-entrapment.
- Cambridge Elevating Residential Elevators, March 27, 2019, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Cambridge-Elevating-Recalls-Home-Elevators-Due-to-Fall-Hazard.
- Waupaca Elevator Residential Elevators, 25 october 2018, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Waupaca-Elevator-Recalls-to-Inspect-Elevators-Due-to-Injury-Hazard.
- Porta residential elevators, Aug 3, 2016, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2016/Porta-Recalls-Residential-Elevators.
- Carolina Coastal Residential Elevators, March 19, 2015, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2015/Childs-Catastrophic-Brain-Injury-Prompts-Recall-of-Residential-Elevators.
- ThyssenKrupp Access Manufacturing Residential Elevators, September 20, 2012, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2012/Residential-Elevators-Recall-for-Repair-by-ThyssenKrupp-Access-Manufacturing-Due-to-Fall-Hazard.
The CPSC will continue to investigate residential elevator safety and advise consumers to report any safety incidents involving residential elevators to www.SaferProducts.gov.
for more information, contact Nicolette nye at the CPSC Communications Office at [email protected] or at 240-204-4410.
About the US CPSC
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the country more than 1000 billion dollars annually. The work of the CPSC to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of fatalities and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law prohibits anyone from selling products subject to a voluntary recall announced publicly by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
For vital information:
– Visit CPSC.gov.
– Subscribe to receive our E-mail alerts.
– Follow us on Facebook, Instagram @USCPSC and Twitter @USCPSC.
– Report a dangerous product or an injury related to the product on www.SaferProducts.gov.
– Call the CPSC hotline at 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054).
Version number: 21-153
SOURCE United States Consumer Product Safety Commission