Need ideas for floor laundry chute / safety

Hi everyone,

I just moved to a new (to me) house and there’s a laundry chute in one of the bedrooms. While this is convenient, it’s currently not secured (opens upwards into the room) and has a straight 9 foot drop into a cabinet in the laundry room below.

This is a huge safety issue with our (incredibly curious) 5 year old, so I’m looking for suggestions on a) how to secure it and b) how to alarm it. I feel an open/closed sensor would only attract attention to the area, and if it was mounted inside the chute it would probably always snag some piece of clothing dropped down there and would eventually dislodge or break.

Anybody has any suggestions or experience with this sort of thing? I’ll grab a few pictures in a minute for reference.


Why not mount an open/close sensor up by the hinge so that clothes more than likely won’t get caught? You could experiment on how close the magnet would really need to be to cause a close state while ensuring an open state is always picked up.

What about one of the recessed zwave open/close contacts? It depends on the door and if there is a place to drill the holes to put it but might be an out of the way option.

Laundry chutes are a definite child safety hazard.

when I was a kid my grandmother’s very old house had one, and no matter what the adults said we kids did drop things down it, tried to climb down it, tried to push each other down it, and dropped the cat down it (fortunately into a full basket of laundry) it was just The absolute definition of “attractive hazard.”

Current recommendations are that any laundry chute be at least 1 m up off the ground and have a childproof lock.

I’ll admit, if I lived in a house with a five-year-old I would permanently close the chute and not use it. I’m sure my grandmother’s cat would have agreed with me. :smile_cat:



Yeah it’s a serious enough concern that I’m thinking that the convenience of using gravity to overcome my laziness of carrying stuff downstairs doesn’t seem to be a big enough deterrent to the safety issue.

I’m not sure who came up with this particular design but it’s just bad business.

This is what has reluctantly been renamed The Pit of Doom:

Is it in a place where you could put a large piece of furniture in front of it for a few years until you at least don’t have to worry about the little one hopping in?

1 put a good latch ,lock on it.
2 what about a vibration / tilt sensor mounted to the bottom of the lid. I will also agree that a regular D/W open close sensor doesn’t have to be mounted at the end that opens. It could easily be mounted on the side back by the hinge end.
The putting the dresser over it works too.

From looking at the pictures the recessed open/closed contacts would work.

But if that much of a concern i would consider locking it from below.

Why not use something like a simple cam lock? Recess it into the top latch and lock it when not in use? They have keyed and combination locks.

Lock it down period. Convenience not worth dead kids. We had a pit of doom and i ended up sealing it with a couple of nails from below.