Around the 1950s, deaths in refrigerator were seen as a pandemic disease that caused public health be afraid of. Reason is that old refrigerator door can be only opened from the outside.
Refrigerator in the past with solid lock
Children who stepped inside would be stuck and died slowly by lack of oxygen. At that time, thousands of damaged refrigerators were removed due to over-capacity and they became deadly traps for children. Therefore, Refrigerator Safety Act was passed in the US to forcefully get rid of old refrigerator handles.
There are even groups of people who go looking for old refrigerators to disassemble old handles and smash locks. Even in the state of Oklahoma, a law was enacted that severely condemned people still kept the old refrigerator and the hand twisted so that children could see it. However, at least 163 deaths in the refrigerator were confirmed throughout the United States between 1956 and 1964.
Children can easily close the refrigerator door while sitting in but can’t get out, resulting in catastrophic accidents.
Not until US-produced refrigerators had a magnetically open door mechanism that can open from both inside and outside, the number of people die from suffocation in refrigerator reduced significantly. But refrigerator-related deaths still continue.
There are thousands of such abandoned refrigerators around the world.
Nowadays when the refrigerator has become an indispensable object in every family, refrigerator deaths still happens. For example, three children in South Africa was suffocated because of an abandoned refrigerator in 2013 reported by The Huffington Post.
Most recently, a heartbreaking death of two brothers Titian and Kevin in January 2018. Their bodies were found in an old refrigerator in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital. Police concluded that the two children died from suffocation when they accidentally locked themselves in a refrigerator.
So be cautious of the fridge in your house. This useful device can sometimes cause unimaginable disaster.
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