According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), three prominent elevator manufacturers have announced the recall of approximately 70,000 home elevators. The recall involves installing an inexpensive safety feature. The recall announcement states that the safety feature is a guard that prevents children from being trapped between the exterior and interior doors. If a small child is trapped between the elevator doors, they could be fatally crushed when the elevator cab moves to another floor.
Home elevators found in private homes, home rentals, Airbnb rentals, and other private residences usually have two separate sets of elevator doors: an exterior door resembling an ordinary interior door and an interior “accordion-style” elevator car door. The elevator recall is fixed by inserting an inexpensive space guard that fills in the space between the sets of elevator doors to prevent children from fitting in the gap.
The elevator recalls concern home elevators that were manufactured by Inclinator Company of America, Savaria Corporation, and Bella Elevator. According to several news reports, these horrific accidents have been occurring for decades. Finally, three home elevator manufacturers have issued safety recalls and are now providing customers with free space guards.
The affected Bella residential elevators were manufactured and installed between 2009 to 2021. The recalled models include their Hydraulic, Symmetry IGD, and Winding Drum Elevators.
Inclinator residential elevators were retailed from January 1979 until December 2021. The affected models include all Hydraulic Drive, Winding Drum (450 – 1,000 lb.), Traction Drive, Chain Drive, and Overhead Cable Drum home elevators.
Savaria and Garaventa residential elevators were retailed from 1999 through 2021. The recalled models include HR, MR, Eclipse, Infinity, and Kwiklift home elevators.
Customers who have a home elevator should warn their children of the dangers, place a lock on the primary door, and avoid using their home elevators until the recalled elevators have been repaired with the safety guard. Consumers are urged to contact the home elevator manufacturers for instructions on measuring for space guards to rectify any dangerous gap. The space guards will be furnished at no charge, and space guard installation help can be provided on request.
For those living in vacation or non-vacation rentals with home elevators, keep children away from the elevators or block entry to prevent a tragic accident.
In 2021, a 7-year-old child from Ohio was tragically killed when the child was crushed by a home elevator inside a vacation rental in North Carolina’s Outer Banks region. Days before the tragic incident, the Consumer Product Safety Commission filed suit against home elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp. The lawsuit demanded that ThyssenKrupp issue a recall for its home electors. The recall would require ThyssenKrupp to install space guards. ThyssenKrupp, as of the publication of this news report, has not issued a safety recall.
In December of 2020, the Otis Elevator Company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of approximately 5,000 CemcoLift and Otis home elevators because of serious injuries reported. The injuries included “crushed spine and abdomen, broken arms, fractured hips, broken feet, and bruising to the chest and face,” the recall warns.
The Washington Post reported that at least 34 children had been tragically injured or killed by “swing-door” Otis Elevators since 1983. Most of these incidents were “entrapment accidents.” Otis also settled one lawsuit in 2003 for $3 million. The lawsuit was filed by the parents of an 8-year-old boy who was fatally crushed in a home elevator incident.
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