Airbnb and Vrbo hosts urged by regulators to turn off residential elevators

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Federal safety regulators are calling on popular vacation rental platforms to turn off use of home elevators following the reported death of another young child.

Some platforms are already obliging.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Tuesday sent a letter to Airbnb, Vrbo and other vacation rental platforms asking them to require hosts to “lock exterior access doors. or otherwise deactivate the elevators of their properties ”.

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The letter marks the first time the CPSC has publicly called on vacation rental companies “to take immediate action.” However, the notice came just after a 7-year-old reportedly died in an elevator at a vacation home in North Carolina.

In response, Vrbo agreed to “share important elevator safety information with residential elevator owners,” the company said in a statement to FOX Business. This warning will include a “recommendation to deactivate elevators until they can be properly inspected and common safety issues are resolved.”

Vrbo “has also posted information about elevator safety on our Trust and Safety page, available to all customers,” the company added.

Airbnb representatives did not respond to FOX Business’s request for comment. However, Airbnb told CBS News that it is still reviewing the contents of the letter.

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ABNB AIRBNB, INC. 138.81 -0.66 -0.47%

The CPSC stressed that such elevators “present a hidden and deadly danger” to young children who can be crushed to death in a gap between doors.

If the space between an exterior door and the furthest point of the interior door is too deep, the agency said that a child can be trapped, “resulting in serious injury or death when the elevator car comes down. moves “.

CPSC Acting President Robert Adler said the agency is already working with elevator manufacturers, but is still urging vacation rental platforms to join in its efforts to better protect children.

“The CPSC has jurisdiction over residential elevators, and the agency has engaged with the manufacturers and sellers of these units regarding their legal responsibilities,” Adler wrote in the letter. “I am contacting you, not as a regulator, but in the hope that you will join us in ensuring that children are safe in the rentals on your platform.”

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The CPSC said children aged 2 to 12 were crushed to death in the space, “suffering from multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae and traumatic asphyxia.” Meanwhile, others have resuscitated lifelong injuries, the agency said.

In addition to the letter, the agency also released a list of home elevator warnings, recalls and legal action to better educate consumers.


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