The Terrifying Reason Refrigerator Doors Are Magnetic Today

Those vintage refrigerators may look simple, but it turns out they had a deadly feature — latches that only opened from the outside. Imagine if you're a small child looking for a place to hide. Back in the day, so many children were climbing into refrigerators, getting stuck inside, and suffocating to death that the government passed the Refrigerator Safety Act in 1956. Until then, refrigerators could only be opened from an outside latch and were lined with an airtight rubber seal, making it harder for parents to hear their children calling for help. The new act requires manufacturers to make refrigerator doors able to be opened easily from the inside. Most companies switched to a magnetic mechanism that allowed doors to stay closed when you wanted them to, but open from the inside with a little push.