Vacation Rental Owners Urged to Disable Home Elevators
Following the July 11 death of a child in a North Carolina Outer Banks residential elevator, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Acting Chairman Robert Adler, in a July 20 emailed letter, urged vacation rental platforms, including Airbnb, Vrbo and others, to take steps to protect renters. Specifically, the letter asks the platforms to immediately notify all guests 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 rental service to lock outer access doors or otherwise disable the elevators in their properties (unless those members have proof of an inspection certifying that no hazardous gaps exist); and require elevator inspections of any rental listing going forward. News station WECT reported that the child, a 7-year-old Ohio boy visiting a North Carolina rental home with his family, was crushed when he became trapped in the hoistway between the access door and the elevator. The death renewed calls in North Carolina for state officials to oversee private residential elevators, which currently are not under state jurisdiction. The CPSC has issued warnings, recalls and legal action concerning residential elevators in actions dating back to at least 2012.