The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and three major elevator manufacturers have recalled about 69,000 home elevators to install an inexpensive safety feature.
The safety feature is a space guard that will prevent children from getting trapped between the interior and exterior doors, where they can be crushed to death if the elevator is called to another floor.
Home elevators are designed with two doors: an exterior door that typically looks just like a normal door in a house, and an interior accordion-style door that is attached to the elevator car.
If a child gets trapped in the gap between the exterior door and the interior accordion-style door, they can be get crushed by the elevator cab when it moves to another floor.
The hazard can be easily fixed with an inexpensive safety feature — a space guard that fills the gap so a child does not fit.
After decades of horrific accidents, three elevator manufacturers are finally issuing recalls to provide consumers with free space guards.
The recalls were issued by Bella Elevator, Inclinator Company of America, and Savaria Corporation.
Bella residential elevators were manufactured from 2009 to 2021. The models include Symmetry IGD, Hydraulic, and Winding Drum Elevators.
Inclinator residential elevators were sold from January 1979 to December 2021. The models include Winding Drum (450 – 1,000 lb.), Hydraulic Drive, Chain Drive, Traction Drive and Overhead Cable Drum.
Savaria and Garaventa residential elevators were sold from 1999 through 2021. The models include Eclipse, Infinity, Kwiklift, MR and HR.
Consumers should keep unsupervised young children away from the recalled elevators and contact the manufacturers for instructions on how to measure for space guards to correct any hazardous gap.
Space guards will be provided free of charge and assistance with space guard installation will be provided on request.
In the meantime, consumers are being warned to keep children away from the recalled elevators at home — and vacation rentals, too.
For example, last year, a 7-year-old boy from Ohio died when his neck was broken and he was crushed by an elevator at a vacation rental home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Just days before the boy’s death, the CPSC filed a lawsuit against ThyssenKrupp, demanding a recall for all home electors to install space guards. ThyssenKrupp has not yet issued a recall.
Back in December 2020, Otis Elevator Company recalled about 5,000 Otis and CemcoLift home elevators due to reports of serious injuries, including “crushed spine and abdomen, fractured hip, broken arm and feet, and bruising to the face and chest,” the recall warns.
According to the Washington Post, at least 34 children were killed or injured by swing-door Otis Elevators since 1983, mostly in entrapment accidents. Otis also paid a $3 million settlement in 2003 to the family of an 8-year-old boy who was crushed to death.
Source: CPSC and Three Leading Elevator Manufacturers Announce Recalls of Residential Elevators Due to Industry- Wide Issue of Child Entrapment Hazard; Risk of Serious Injury or Death to Young Children