7-year-old child dies in vacation rental home elevator, CPSC sends urging letter to AirBnB, Vrbo, and others to disable home elevators immediately

Local News

(WFRV) – In early July, Local 5 reported the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was suing a national elevator company, thyssenkrupp Access Corp, for its faulty elevator design and installation materials resulting in the death of a child, permanently disabling another child, and a third child being hospitalized after becoming entrapped. Just a few weeks later and the CPSC is taking action once again and asking the vacation rental community for help in bringing attention to the dangers residential elevators pose to children.

This national plea for help comes after yet another death of a young child was reported in early to mid-July. According to the CPSC, the child was only 7 years old and died in a vacation rental home elevator in North Carolina. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a young child has suffered bodily injury or death due to residential elevators.

In 2010 a 3-year-old child was left permanently disabled during an accident in a residential elevator. Seven years later, a 2-year-old child lost their life in a residential elevator followed by a 4-year-old boy being hospitalized in 2019 for injuries suffered during a residential elevator incident.

These injuries and deaths are not being taken lightly, CPSC officials are doing all they can to assure families and children are made aware of the running risks associated with residential elevators.

In a letter sent on July 20, to vacation rental platforms, AirBnB, Vrbo, and others, CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler urged the companies to take steps immediately to protect vulnerable consumers.

“The agency is taking steps with the manufacturers, but we need the businesses that facilitate vacation rentals to join us,” said Chairman Robert Adler. “These injuries and deaths are horrific, and we need property owners and rental agencies to disable elevators immediately until they have been inspected.”

The letter specifically asked rental companies to notify all renters immediately about the potential hazard via email, or in a warning box on their reservation or booking pages; immediately require all members or “hosts” using the platforms to lock outer access doors or otherwise disable the elevators in their properties, unless and until those members provide proof of an inspection, certifying that no hazardous gap exists; and require elevator inspections of anyone posting a listing going forward.

A copy of the letter can be found below.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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