Calls for owners, management companies and rental agencies to address hazard immediately to protect children’s lives.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces its latest recalls involving residential elevators, the agency is renewing its call for homeowners and vacation rental businesses to address hazards in residential elevators to ensure they can operate safely and to protect children from harm.
Over the past year, CPSC has stepped up its residential elevator enforcement efforts by recalling 117,100 total units across the U.S. to address an entrapment hazard.
Today, CPSC issued recalls for Cambridge Elevating and Custom Elevator, citing the danger these devices pose to young children. In the case of Custom Elevator, a 7-year-old child died in 2021, at a North Carolina vacation home, after becoming entrapped in a residential elevator.
CPSC also recently announced that it had settled a lawsuit with ThyssenKrupp Access Corp. (TKA), to resolve charges that specific models of its elevators could result in serious injury or death. The lawsuit cited three incidents involving entrapment in these elevators, including a 2-year-old child who died and a 3-year-old child who was left permanently disabled. Over the past two years, CPSC has also announced recalls by Residential Elevator, Inclinator, Savaria, Bella and Otis to address this hazard. Another company, Waupaca, thus far, has refused to conduct a recall.
CPSC Chair, Alex Hoehn-Saric said, “Residential elevators pose a deadly risk to children. It’s long past time for all homeowners to address the hazard and ensure that children cannot get trapped between elevator doors, particularly in homes that are used as vacation rentals, by families who may not be familiar with elevators. A joyful family vacation can turn tragic in an instant, so we are calling on all vacation rental owners, managers, and platforms to do their part to help keep their guests safe.”
CPSC is aware of 41 deaths associated with elevators between 2018 and 2021. And between 2020 through 2021, there were more than 19,000 ER-treated injuries in the U.S.
During his confirmation hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Hoehn-Saric pledged to Committee Chair, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-IN) to make residential elevator safety a priority for the agency. “I am pleased to be able to report our progress to hold manufacturers accountable for addressing this hazard, but our work on this issue is far from over,” he said. “We appreciate Sen. Cantwell’s leadership on this issue, and we look forward to reporting further developments as we work with the vacation rental industry to help keep consumers safe.”
Hoehn-Saric says he hopes to meet with groups representing vacation rental businesses in the near future and to encourage them to take more aggressive action to keep consumers safe. This may include:
- Explicitly notifying and warning renters about the hazards of residential elevators;
- Requiring property owners or “hosts” to disable elevators until they provide proof of inspection or certify that no hazardous gap exists.
“Consumers and their families should feel safe using the residential elevators in their own homes, the homes of relatives, or in rental or vacation homes,” Hoehn-Saric said. “We look forward to working with industry to continue to protect consumers from this hazard.”
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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