D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — ABC Warns of Older Garage Doors

© 2003 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2003
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 42


ABC Warns of Older Garage Doors

Garage door openers are drifting back into the national news spotlight. On Nov. 19, 2003, ABC's “Good Morning America” broadcast a 7-minute feature story about Nick Green, a 10-year-old boy who was critically injured in a garage door incident in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 4.

A neighbor said that Nick rode the garage door twice while hanging onto the bottom section. The second time, however, Nick didn't let go, and he got his head caught between the garage door and the header.

Reports say that Nick hung motionless in the opening until paramedics freed him by forcing the door down. Even after two weeks in the hospital, Nick remained in critical condition with a severe head injury.

Entrapment While Opening

The ABC news story mentioned entrapment protections on operators manufactured since 1992 and cited Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics on fatal child accidents involving garage door openers. The Columbus incident was different from others because the accident occurred while the door was opening, not closing.

Wayne-Dalton's new idrive garage door opener was also mentioned on the program as a new technology that makes door openers smarter.

“The design of idrive eliminates the potential for human error by automatically learning the door's operating parameters,” explains Yan Rodriguez of Wayne-Dalton. “In this case, a variance in the door's opening profile would have been detected by the opener when the child grabbed onto the door, preventing him from being lifted.”

Warning Consumers

ABC reviewed garage door opener reversal systems and encouraged consumers to conduct a monthly reversing test with a 2-by-4.

“ABC reviewed the hazards and the safety features of garage doors and openers well,” says Barbara Kelkhoff of Chamberlain, DASMA Door Operator Committee chair. “This is also a good reminder for us parents to teach our children not to play near a garage door that is opening or closing.”

Bryan Hantke of Genie agrees. “Garage door and operator manufacturers have steadily improved the safety of their products,” he says. “Yet, all homeowners must educate their children about the dangers of misusing these products.”

The ABC story also discussed the pinch hazard and the danger of holes in garage door track. Consumers were encouraged to cover the holes in track with duct tape to prevent anyone from placing their fingers through the hole while a door is moving.