In our last blog, we explored the history of the garage door opener, in which we touched briefly on the fact that although garage doors and garage door openers brought convenience, as with many new developments involving electronics, the issue of safety very quickly emerged. Improperly adjusted opener force settings and safety eyes, falling doors, uncontrolled release of torsion spring, and uninformed / ill-equipped do-it-yourselfers were, and continue to be, the most common causes of injuries from garage door systems. A free-falling garage door accelerates rapidly, and can cause serious injury or death.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR OPERATOR CONFORMS TO REGULATIONS
With no regulations in place in the early years of the electric garage door opener, accidents resulting from faulty designs and misuse of garage door systems occurred frequently. A garage door would continue to try to close even if there was an obstruction, and unfortunately homeowners, children and pets suffered a wide range of injuries from pinched fingers, crushed limbs, head injuries and entrapment. Tragically, cases of death have been noted, and since 1982, it has been reported that 60 children have been killed as a result of garage doors that did not automatically reverse upon contact. And in the United States between the years 1974 and 1995, at least 85 children have suffered permanent brain injury or have died due to accidents involving garage door openers. In order to reduce injuries and death associated with garage door systems, strict regulations were required and legislation began to be put in place, including:
• garage door openers manufactured since 1982 are required to have a reverse on contact – a safety reversing feature – garage door reverses upon contact with about 15 pounds of pressure/resistance.
• all garage door openers manufactured and installed in the U.S. since 1982 are required to have a quick-release mechanism that allows the garage door to be disconnected from the garage door opener in the event of entrapment; also helpful during power outage or emergency situations.
• garage door openers manufactured since 1993 must include photo eyes/motion sensors – mounted no higher than 6 inches above the ground, which reverses upon contact with about 15 pounds of pressure/resistance.
• other examples include electric safety edge – reverse with approximately 15 pounds of pressure, which is typically used in commercial applications.
• all openers are now required to have circuit boards wherein if door doesn’t complete it’s cycle within a certain period of time it will reverse.
While the scope of injuries caused by garage doors and garage door openers range, the message is the same: Garage door systems, while convenient and offer a measure of security, must be operated with caution.
2. TEACH CHILDREN GARAGE DOOR SAFETY
Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door or its operating system. Children should never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving. Fore more safety information click here.
3. PERFORM YOUR OWN GARAGE DOOR OPENER TEST
You can perform a test to see if your garage door opener is working properly by following 3 easy steps in LiftMaster’s “How To Do a Garage Door Safety Test” Video:
If the door fails to reverse using this test, call Upright Door Service Inc. : 905-852-1981, to have your opener serviced or to replace the opener with one that meets the latest industry standards.
4. REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
We’ve said it before in past blogs, and we’ll say it again: Garage doors and openers must be kept in proper working order, and those operating the systems must do so with caution. Improperly adjusted garage doors can cause serious injuries, along with uninformed homeowners without the right equipment who attempt repairs on their own. If you don’t know what you are doing, please call the professionals at Upright Door Service Inc., to protect you and your family from harm. For more information about our garage door and opener services click here.
There’s no doubt about it, the invention of the garage door operator offers so much added convenience and security, but it is important to have your garage door system serviced and kept in working order. If it is time for service, contact Upright Door Service Inc. Our technicians have been vigorously tested in the areas of quality, safety and expertise, and we can get your door system working safely and efficiently again. Call us today!