Door Gap Safety FAQ

  1. What does a landing/hoistway door look like on a home elevator?
  • A landing door (also known as a hoistway door) is a hinged door that may look like other doors in your home. Many home elevators are installed with these types of doors, often by the home contractor or builder, and they may be automatically or manually operated.
  • The elevator car will also have a door or gate attached to it that is supplied by the elevator manufacturer. The elevator car door operates manually or automatically. These two sets of doors are identified in the photo below.

  1. What space gap are we talking about?
  • The key measurement is the distance between the back inside of the landing door and edge of the landing sill (the beginning of the “running clearance” which is the space between the landing and the elevator cab). These are shown more closely in the photo below.

  1. What is a space guard?
  • A space guard is a safety device that attaches to the inside of the landing door and reduces the space gap between that door and the elevator car door or gate. Space guards vary depending on the size required but generally look like this picture when installed.
  • The space guards provided by Residential Elevators – at no charge to you – are easy to install and are paintable to match your décor.

  1. Why do I need to measure the space gap?
  • If the landing door is installed too far away from the elevator car door, the extra space can pose an entrapment hazard for children. Measuring this space will determine the appropriate size for your space guards.
  • Young children can become entrapped in the space between the exterior landing (hoistway) door and the interior elevator car door or gate if there is a hazardous gap, and suffer serious injuries or death when the elevator is called to another floor.
  1. What can I do if I cannot measure the space gap?
  • First, watch the 1 minute video on how to measure.
  • If you are still unsure after watching the video, you may contact Residential Elevators for assistance over the phone or via a video-call.
  1. How do I order a space guard?
  • You should have received an email with your unique information associated with it. If you did, please use the link included in your email, which will provide you with the fastest service.
  • If you did not receive an email but believe you have a home elevator manufactured by Residential Elevators, Inc., please click here. There, we will gather information about your elevator model, serial number/job number of your elevator and the measurements you will take of any current spacing gaps that may be present. We will contact you directly with any additional questions. Any space guards will be sent free of charge directly to your home.
  • Space guard installation is easy. Residential Elevators space guard repair kit comes with everything you need, including the space guard itself, double-sided tape and adhesive, screws, and gloves.
  1. What should I do in the meantime, before I have installed the space guard?
  • The space guard is a safety device to prevent child entrapment. These types of entrapment incidents have caused serious injury and death to young children.
  • If you have young children in your home (or if your home is visited by or rented to families with young children), you should immediately disable the elevator or block young children’s access to the elevator until the issue is addressed. Young children should never be allowed to use an elevator unattended or to play in or near an elevator.
  • If you do not have young children in your home (or if your home is not visited by or rented to families with young children), you may continue to operate your elevator until space guards are installed. We urge you to promptly remedy any gaps that may exist behind your landing doors.
  1. What should I do if I have difficulty installing the space guard?
  • First, watch the short video that provides step-by-step directions. If you need further assistance, you can contact Residential Elevators for assistance. A two-way video call and assistance with space guard installation will be provided on request.
  1. I don’t have children; do I still need the space guard?
  • Yes. You should remove the potential hazard for children who may visit your home, if the home is rented to guests with children, or if the home is eventually sold to owners with children.
  1. Why don’t I need to measure the space to the actual closed elevator door or gate?
  • That measurement is not necessary because we already know the specific gate that has been installed on your elevator using the serial number/job number you provide us. We will be able to validate measurements based on your specific gate/door.
  • If you have changed the original gate that came with your elevator, please note that fact on the online form and/or contact us at 877.794.3032. We will handle each case on an individual basis to make sure we have the correct measurements of your closed elevator door or gate.
  1. My elevator was inspected (by a state/local authority) or receives an annual inspection, do I need to take action now?
  • Yes. The inspections will not necessarily address the hazardous gap that is the subject of this recall.
  1. My elevator was installed according to State and Local codes. What created a hazardous gap between the elevator car door and the landing door?
  • If you find that a hazardous gap exists in your home, this means that at the time your home and the elevator shaft was built, the landing doors on each floor were set too far back from the elevator cab door.
  • As part of this voluntary corrective action in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Residential Elevators has agreed to further reduce the amount of space behind the landing door that could create a hazardous gap, even where State and Local codes permitted that amount of space to be present at the time of installation.
  1. What if I don’t want to install a space guard?
  • We strongly recommend that you install a space guard to prevent a serious injury risk to young children. If, however, for aesthetic or other reasons, you prefer to take another action to address the potential hazardous gap, there are other options:
  1. You may request that Residential Elevators install a light curtain, also known as a light screen. A safety light curtain sends photoelectric beams down the front edge of the elevator and if anything is blocking the beams (like a child’s head, arm, or leg), the elevator will stop immediately, preventing the hazard from occurring.
  2. You may reinstall and move the hoistway door closer to the elevator to remove the hazardous gap. This will likely involve the use of a contractor to provide you with the customized detail your hoistway door needs, including trim and finish work.
    1. The hoistway door should be as close as possible to the elevator (ideally with a 0” gap). There should never be more than a ¾” gap. Special door hardware may be needed for the interior handle.
  3. Other options may be available for your installation.
  • Contact Residential Elevators for more information.
  1. What if I have a light curtain or a floating gate switch installed on my elevator?
  • If your elevator installation has a working and operational light screen/curtain which is on the leading edge of the car and where, as measured with the directions provided, the gap is 3 inches or less between the hoistway door or existing space guards, then no action is needed.
  • If your elevator installation has a scissor gate and a working and operational floating gate switch and where, as measured with the directions provided, the gap is 3 inches or less between the hoistway door or existing space guards, then no action is needed.
  • If you are interested in adding these features to your elevator cab, please contact Residential Elevators to determine which additional safety features may be available for your custom installation.
  1. If my elevator has flush-mounted doors, do I need to take action?
  • If your flush-mounted doors were installed with a maximum of 3/4″ between the inside of the landing door and edge of the landing sill, as demonstrated in the illustration below, you do not need a space guard. To check this measurement, see FAQ number 2 and watch the 1 minute video on how to measure. If you are still unsure, you can contact the elevator manufacturer for assistance over the phone, which includes two-way video assistance.

  1. My elevator has sliding doors at the landings, do I need to take any action?
  • No. This issue only applies to swing-style landing doors (see FAQ number 1).
  1. How do I know if Residential Elevators manufactured my elevator?
  • Check on the cab operating panel (COP) inside your elevator cab, or the elevator controller, hydraulic equipment or control box of the elevator for any labels. You will find a contact phone number listed for the elevator manufacturer. This recall covers only those elevators manufactured by Residential Elevators, Inc. If you cannot locate any labels, you can call Residential Elevators and we will try to assist you in confirming the manufacturer and how to contact them.
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