Officials say more than 100,000 elevators have been recalled

Weston Androw, 7, died in 2021 after being trapped in an elevator at his family's vacation rental in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Weston Androw, 7, died in 2021 after being trapped in an elevator at his family’s vacation rental in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Screenshot from 10TV-WBNS Facebook

Consumer protection officials have announced the recall of thousands of elevators a year after a 7-year-old boy died after being trapped in one on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

In July 2021, 7-year-old Weston Scott Androw died after being trapped “between an elevator car and an elevator shaft” inside his family’s Corolla vacation rental on the Outer Banks, according to WBNS. The Associated Press reports that first responders found the boy from Ohio trapped in the elevator.

Although they managed to free the child, they could not bring him back to life.

Now, state and national officials are taking steps to improve the safety of residential elevators and reduce the risks to children.

security measures

In July, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed “Weston’s Law,” which requires owners of rental buildings with elevators with a large gap between the floor and the elevator to cover it with a barrier, according to WRAL. The law will enter into force on October 1.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced on September 29 the recall of elevators manufactured by Cambridge Elevating, based in Ontario, Canada, and Custom Elevator, based in Pennsylvania.

The agency says the elevator involved in Weston’s death in the Outer Banks was manufactured by Custom Elevator.

In a statement, Custom Elevator said the Consumer Product Safety Commission is cooperating with the recall, but the hazard is related to the elevators not being built to accepted standards.

“Furthermore, even if the aftermarket construction of the elevator assembly (‘) complies with door area code, young children may become trapped in the space between the exterior door… and the interior door or gates of the elevator,” the report said. .

The installation of “space guards” will help reduce the risk of children becoming trapped, the company said.

Representatives for Cambridge Elevating did not respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2018 and 2021, there were at least 41 deaths related to elevators. Between 2020 and 2021, more than 19,000 people were treated in the emergency room for elevator-related injuries.

“It is long past time for all landlords to address the hazard and ensure that children are not trapped between lift doors, particularly in homes used as holiday rentals by families unfamiliar with lifts,” said Alex Hoehn-Saric, chair. This is stated in the statement of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “A joyous family vacation can turn tragic in an instant, so we urge all vacation rental owners, managers and platforms to do their part to keep their guests safe.”

According to the agency, between 2021 and 2022, 117,100 elevators were recalled across the country.

Weston Andrew

According to his obituary, Weston “loved fishing, swimming, the ocean, the outdoors and discussing anything.” “He loved making people laugh with ‘The Many Faces of Weston’ and always said he had the most special family.”

His aunt wrote on her obituary page that she had many special memories with her nephew.

“I remember building quilt forts and towers,” she said. “I remember his interesting discoveries. I remember holding him in my arms and making silly faces at each other. I remember his smile because it lit up his face and then the room, as only Weston smiled.”

When Gov. Cooper signed Weston’s Law into law in July, Weston’s mother said in a statement that she hopes the new safety measures will prevent a similar tragedy in the future, according to WRAL.

“It means so much to us that our voices and those of other parents demanding that something be done about this problem are finally being heard,” Timeka Androw said in a statement. “I hope Weston’s Law will inspire other lawmakers and the residential elevator industry to take action and put an end to this problem once and for all.”

Madeleine List is a McClatchy National Real-Time Correspondent. He reported for the Cape Cod Times and the Providence Journal.

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