As part of the Home Elevator Safety Program, thyssenkrupp Access Corp. sent letters to the Governors of each U.S. state and territory to seek assistance in contacting homeowners. An example of the letter is available below. To see a copy of the letter sent to specific Governors, click here.
July 9, 2021
IMPORTANT VOLUNTARY HOME ELEVATOR SAFETY PROGRAM INFORMATION
We are writing to seek your assistance in protecting residents of your state from a serious hazard associated with residential elevator installations. Specifically, some elevators may have been installed with excessive space between the hoistway door (the door that allows access to the elevator from a hallway) and the elevator car door or gate (the door or gate inside the elevator cab, which is typically an accordion door or gate). This space is commonly known as the gap space. In some cases, elevator installers have left a gap space large enough to allow a child to fit between the closed doors. If a child becomes trapped in the gap space when the elevator is called to another floor, the child may be dragged inside the hoistway and crushed against the next floor’s sill. Children have been seriously injured and even killed in these incidents.
Current thinking on elevator safety is that the gap space should be less than four inches. Excessive gap spaces may be reduced through the installation of a space guard, a simple fixture that attaches to the hoistway door (the door that allows entry to an elevator from the hallway of a home).
To help reduce any excessive gap spaces and the risk of potential entrapment incidents, thyssenkrupp Access Corp (thyssenkrupp Access), a former manufacturer of residential elevators, is voluntarily conducting a Home Elevator Safety Program, an expanded version of a program it offered initially in 2014, to identify and reduce excessive gap spaces left by improper third-party installations. Through this Program, launched in February 2021, thyssenkrupp Access is offering homeowners with an installed elevator from any thyssenkrupp Access company a free inspection to determine the sizes of their gap spaces. If excessive gap spaces are identified, homeowners can request free installation of free space guards to reduce these gap spaces. thyssenkrupp Access also offers free, simple instructions for inspections and space guard installation for homeowners who prefer, due to COVID-19 or other concerns, to install free space guards themselves.
More information about the Program, including a powerful video that illustrates the seriousness of the entrapment hazard and the value of space guards in reducing that hazard, is available at https://www.homelevator-safety.com.
Until it left the residential elevator business in 2012, thyssenkrupp Access delivered elevators to dealers for sale to homeowners, with installation typically performed by dealers or their contractors. Because thyssenkrupp Access cannot notify homeowners directly. thyssenkrupp Access is working with its former dealers to compile homeowner contact information. Given the passage of time, this information may not be available, and some dealers are no longer in business. To bridge this gap, thyssenkrupp Access is working to get the Program’s vital safety message to homeowners through other means, including a nationally distributed press release, social media, and digital advertising.
thyssenkrupp Access respectfully requests your help, as well. We ask that you use your platform to help make homeowners in your state aware of the potential hazards of improper elevator installations that leave excessive gap spaces and the potential to reduce these hazards through installation of space guards and the opportunity to participate in this voluntary program if a thyssenkrupp Access Corp. elevator was installed in their home. You may also wish to consider outreach to home inspectors and realtors in your state as well to enhance awareness of this potential hazard.
If you have any questions or would like any further information about gap spaces in residential elevator installations or the thyssenkrupp Access Corp. Home Elevator Safety Program, please visit https://www.homelevator-safety.com or reach out to us through the contacts provided below or on the website.
thyssenkrupp Access Corp.
P.O. Box 6454
Portland, OR 97228-6454