Home elevators have been a danger to small children for years. According to Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS,) this week the Consumer Product Safety Commission finally agreed to investigate the dangers of home elevators. The SRS is not certain whether or not this research will produce any substantive changes but many hope that this will improve the safety of home elevators that have already caused so many deaths and injuries in the United States. The CPSC recognizes that home elevators can entrap, crush, and kill children.
Most often, children are trapped between the door that opens to the elevator and the sliding doors to the physical elevator itself. The CPSC says that they are in an active and ongoing investigation. The investigation stems from the devastating injuries of a six-year-old boy who was trapped in a home elevator on Christmas Eve. The elevator was a national Wheel-o-Vator. The CPSC says that they have jurisdiction over residential setting elevators as a consumer product.
The products are not required to submit to any mandatory federal standards. The only standards that the elevators must adhere to are industry-written and voluntary ones. The family of this six-year-old boy sued the elevator manufacturers after the incident, but the company refuted the claim, saying that the parents should have watched their child more closely and taken precautions. Still, the parents argue that there are no warnings on the elevator or in the literature talking about the risks of entrapment accidents like their child received.
To learn more about the dangers of elevator doors, you should click here to read a previous blog written on this subject. In our past blog we discussed the nature of home elevators and how the double doors can result in a tragic entrapment. Now, as the CPSC investigates the safety of these items, it will serve as a guideline and warning for home elevator owners throughout the United States. Some hope that it will result in an industry-wide recall of former elevator models. If you want more information contact a personal injury attorney at Arnold & Itkin LLP right away!