What deadly danger to children caused three companies to recall 69,000 elevators?

Three companies recalled about 69,300 residential elevators on Tuesday as entrapment hazards to children.

Bella recalled about 10,000 elevators. Savaria pulled about 19,500 elevators sold under the Savaria and Garventa brands. Inclinator recalled about 39,000 elevators.

The problem, as stated in each U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice: “Young children can become entrapped in the space between the exterior landing (hoistway) door and the interior elevator car door or gate due to a hazardous gap, and suffer serious injuries or death when the elevator is called to another floor.”

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The space between the exterior landing door and interior elevator car door can trap a child. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The alerts say this hasn’t happened with any of the recalled elevators.

But the group Kids in Danger says it did happen to at least three children last summer, including a 7-year-old boy who was killed at a North Carolina vacation rental home. Otis Elevator issued a recall in December 2020 after four incidents resulting in a crushed spine, and broken hip, arm and feet. The CPSC sued ThyssenKrupp in July 2021 to force a recall for the same problem.

“In some incidents, children have suffered multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, traumatic asphyxia and other horrific and lifelong injuries,” a Kids in Danger email said.

Consumer Federation of America general counsel Rachel Weintraub called the recall “a critically important step in the protection of consumers, and especially children” and “this life-threatening hazard has impacted too many children and families and has been pervasive for far too long.”

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A graphic shows the feared problem. The CPSC says “The exterior door locks the young child in the space between the doors when the elevator is called to another floor, putting the child at risk of being crushed or pinned and suffering serious injuries or death.” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

A joint statement from the three companies says: “We are pleased to be working with the CPSC on this recall, in which we are providing free space guards where needed to increase the safety of our residential elevators.

“Today’s announcement also reflects our three companies’ firm, continued commitment to working with our installer partners so that future residential elevators will be installed consistent with voluntary safety standards to eliminate hazardous gaps between home elevator car doors or gates and hoistway doors.”’

Customers with any of the below elevators should measure the door gap and contact the appropriate company by phone or online about space guards.

Bella models Symmetry IGD, Hydraulic, and Winding Drum Elevators. Call Bella at 877-375-1428, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time.

Inclinator models Winding Drum, Hydraulic Drive, Chain Drive, Traction Drive and Overhead Cable Drum. Call Inclinator at 833-620-2949, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern time.

Savaria models Eclipse, Infinity, Kwiklift, MR and HR models. Call Savaria at 855-983-5520, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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