Jeanette. Garage Doors. October 20th , 2017.
In the past, the biggest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs used for balancing the door weight. Pre mid 1960s garage door installations typically relied upon a pair of stretched (tensioned) springs to assist the operation of the garage door pivoting hinges. These springs became loaded (tensioned) as the door was moved into the closed position. Unloading (releasing) of the stored spring energy occurred as the door was opened to the horizontal overhead position. One of the most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was that after a period of time, often without any maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of these springs would rust or become weak.
As a door expert witness, I am called upon many times a year to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors come in many shapes and sizes. Their functions range from basic security of an area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors can be broken down into a few basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications tend to be predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That style of door comes in many configurations, materials, levels of insulation, and a wide range of appearance possibilities.
What can we learn from this real life crime that occurred in Dallas, Tx? Well, the first question we need to examine is how the burglar got into the home. It all boils down to garage door security. The family had parked their car outside of their home, rather than inside the garage. This gang of burglars evidently would cruise neighborhoods looking for cars parked outside of the garage. Then, as in the case with this attempted robbery, they would simply break the window of the car and grab the garage door opener. That gave them an easy way to directly enter the house.
When you start shopping for your garage door, purchase one that isnt too big and bulky. A large garage opener can take up most of your headroom (the available vertical space of yoru garage) and limit your storage space. It also limits what type of vehicle that can enter and be stored in your garage. For instance, SUVs will be incredibly hard to park if you have limited vertical space. Roller garage doors are less complicated to operate than sectional garage doors. They also have smaller and easier to handle panels, which greatly reduces the risk of accidents.
I have been involved in numerous garage door lawsuits where many different reasons for an injury have occurred. Having been retained as expert witness for both plaintiff and defense, several common factors have been observed. In many cases, unqualified individuals have attempted to repair or install garage doors. They have lacked the knowledge, skills or even the basic required tools to perform the work safely and properly. I have been hired as an expert by garage door manufacturers and installers to defend claims that they are not responsible for alleged product defects. In most cases, the components that failed, failed as a result of abuse or improper installation on the part of the end user. As stated above, the installation of many garage doors is not appropriate for an untrained person.
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