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Elevators installed with more than 4 inches of “gap space” between the hoistway doors and the elevator car doors can pose a serious safety risk. Children may become entrapped in the space and could be seriously injured or killed. This risk can be reduced with the proper installation of space guards at each floor.

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Space Guards: How They Make Residential Elevators Safer

Space Guards Preferred Elevator

Space guards reduce the excess gap space to help protect small children

Today we will go over space guards and how they make residential elevators safer. Sadly, The Washington Post reported that a seven-year-old child passed away in a North Carolina rental home due to a home elevator accident. This occurrence is tragic. Today, we are here to offer some hope and provide proof that tragic residential elevators are preventable. Backup safety features exist, and in May 2017, the ASME revised its safety codes. Let’s take a look at how space guards can make residential elevators safer, the new compliance codes put in place regarding gaps, and of course, delve into if residential elevators are safe for children to use. 

What are Space Guards? 

Space guards reduce the excess gap space between the outside door of the hoistway and the inside gate or door to the elevator cab, to help protect small children. Our mechanics can install a space guard on the back of your hoistway door to fill in any gaps to ensure that no one can become stuck in between the outside door and the inside elevator door or gate. 

Residential Elevators and Compliance Codes: What Customers Should Know

The ASME put these compliance codes in place to eliminate the likelihood that a small child could become entrapped or injured between the hoistway door and car gate while using a residential elevator:

  1. Swinging hoistway doors or folding car doors when in the fully closed position will reject a 4″ diameter ball at all points
  2. The distance between the hoistway’s face, door, and the edge of the landing sill should not exceed ¾” for swinging doors.
  3. Folding car doors have to withstand a force of 75 pounds applied horizontally using a 4″ diameter sphere at any location within the car door’s folds without becoming deformed. The deflection will not exceed ¾” or displace the door from its guide or tracks. While in the fully closed position, the force on the door shall be applied. 
  4. Horizontally, sliding doors must have a design that can withstand 75 pounds of pressure applied on a 4″ x 4″ area at right angles and at any site of the car’s door or gates without becoming deformed permanently. 

Concerns About Elevators Installed Before 2016 and Child Safety

So, the million-dollar question becomes: “What about the residential elevators installed before 2016?  If your residential elevator was installed before 2016 and you have safety concerns or small children in the house, call us so that our team can install space guards as soon as possible. Space guards are affordable, quick, and easy to install and serve as a precaution to ensure that your home elevator is as safe as possible. 

Are residential elevators safe for both children and adults? Yes! The best way to keep your child as safe as possible is to ensure they never use a residential elevator without adult supervision. Although, if you feel as if your child is old enough to use the elevator without supervision or they need to use it themselves due to lack of mobility, practice with them how to use it safely. 

Preferred Elevator: We’re On the Up and Up!

For over a decade, Preferred Elevator has served residents in Central Maryland, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. You can rely on our experienced home installation team and quality products.

For our commercial elevator clients, we also provide annual inspections of your equipment to adhere to standards established by the state of Maryland. During these inspections, we make sure that your commercial mobility product is functioning correctly and efficiently. We’ll also go over all safety devices and customized features offered within your plan!

Get in touch with us! Our business hours are Monday-Friday 8 am -5 pm. Reach us by phone at 410-238-2555, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 30th, 2021 at 11:01 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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    Preferred Elevator

    • 7110 Golden Ring Road
      Suite 102
      Essex, MD 21221
    • Phone: 410-238-2555
    • 24/7 Emergency Service
    • Business Hours:
      Monday–Friday: 8am–5pm
    • MHIC #123888
    • Elevators Contractors License #1186
    • DC License #ELC1300867