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All elevators inside vacation cottages or similar short-term rentals in North Carolina would have to include life-saving space guards in legislation advancing in the state Senate.
The measure, which cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday and could be on the floor later this week, is a response to last summer’s death of a 7-year-old child at a rental home on the northern Outer Banks. The Ohio boy became trapped between the elevator car and elevator shaft, authorities said.
The bill would no longer exempt elevators in such short-term rentals from state Department of Labor regulation, although annual inspections wouldn’t be required. These elevators would have to meet safety standards designed to prevent a small child from becoming trapped. That would include installing space guards or baffles that close the gap.
Sen. Todd Johnson, a Union County Republican shepherding the bill, said such products cost roughly $150.
NC putting in new elevator safety protocols.
The elevator owner would have to tell the Labor Department the improvement was made, the bill says, and if not completed the elevator’s electrical supply would have to be disconnected.
The bill, which would have to pass the House as well, also would direct the state building code to require such elevator safety measures in new short-term rental construction.