Three Leading Elevator Manufacturers Recall Residential Elevators; Risk of Serious Injury or Death to Young Children; CPSC Issues Warning Regarding Elevators Manufactured by a Fourth Company
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today announced new steps in its ongoing effort to eliminate deadly hazards from residential elevators.
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. Three children were entrapped in this way 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, LLC, Inclinator Company of America, and Savaria Corporation – have worked with CPSC to announce three separate voluntary recalls of about 69,000 residential elevators. 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.
These actions come after a December 2020 recall of other residential elevators for the same hazard, as well as CPSC’s filing of a lawsuit against thyssenkrupp Access Corp. in July 2021 when the company refused to initiate a recall.
CPSC continues its investigation into the safety of residential elevators and advises consumers to report any safety incident involving residential elevators at www.SaferProducts.gov.
Regardless of 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 is no more than four inches deep. If you are uncertain of the measurement or are otherwise concerned about the safety of the elevator, lock the elevator itself in an unusable position, or lock all access doors to the elevator.
- Have a qualified elevator inspector examine the home elevator for this dangerous gap and other potential safety hazards, inspecting to the latest ASME A17.3-2017, Safety Code for Existing Elevator and Escalators.
- Dangerous gaps can be made safer by placing space guards on the back of the exterior (i.e., 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 obtain these critical safety devices to address this 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 recalled, call the recalling firm immediately to arrange for the fix.
Watch and share CPSC’s Public Service Announcement on residential elevator safety for a simple guide to identifying dangerous elevators.
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
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