Three elevator manufacturers recall residential elevators due to risk of injury or death to children, with warning issued on elevators made by a fourth company
Young children can become entrapped in the space between the exterior landing – hoistway – door and the interior elevator car door or gate if there is a hazardous gap, and suffer serious injuries or death when the elevator is called to another floor, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Three children were entrapped in residential elevators during the summer of 2021, with one seven-year-old boy suffering fatal injuries in an elevator at a vacation rental home in North Carolina. In some incidents, children have suffered multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, traumatic asphyxia, and other horrific and lifelong injuries.
Three elevator manufacturers – Bella Elevator, Inclinator Company of America, and Savaria Corporation – have worked with the CPSC to announce three separate voluntary recalls of about 69,000 residential elevators.
The CPSC is warning consumers to stop using elevators manufactured by a fourth company – Waupaca Elevator Company Inc. – after it refused to cooperate with a recall.
Here are links to details on residential elevators from the four companies:
Other residential elevators were recalled in December 202 for the same hazard, and the CPSC filed a lawsuit against thyssenkrupp Access Corp. in July 2021 when the company refused to initiate a recall.
The CPSC is continuing its investigation of residential elevators and asks consumers to report any safety incident involving residential elevators at www.SaferProducts.gov.
Whether you have an elevator in your home or are staying in a vacation rental with one, consumers are urged to check the safety of the elevator using the following tips:
- Make sure that the gap between doors four inches deep or less. If you’re uncertain of the size of the tap or are concerned about the safety of the elevator, lock the elevator in an unusable position, or lock all access doors to the elevator.
- Have a qualified elevator inspector examine the home elevator for a dangerous gap and other potential safety hazards, inspecting to the latest ASME A17.3-2017, "Safety Code for Existing Elevator and Escalators."
- Make an elevator safer by placing space guards on the back of the exterior – hoistway – door or installing an electronic monitoring device that deactivates the elevator when a child is detected in the gap.
- Contact the elevator manufacturer or an elevator installer to get safety devices to address the hidden hazard. Elevator installers should never allow any gap greater than four inches deep to exist in an elevator entryway.
- Check www.CPSC.gov/recalls to see if the elevator has been recalled. If it has been, call the recalling firm immediately to arrange for the fix.
Here’s a video from the CPSC on how to identify dangerous residential elevators.