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Today’s garage doors offer many safety features

SHARE Today’s garage doors offer many safety features

The garage doors of today have numerous safety features compared to the doors of the past. Whether it's an automatic garage door or the hard to find manual version, pinched fingers are a thing of the past.

Now "eye beams" at the entrance of the garage are required. If that beam of light is broken when the door is coming down, the door will automatically stop and reverse direction. This feature has saved numerous pets and children from serious injury. Many manufacturers claim to have the safest, most childproof door; however, a greater danger remains.

"Even with all the improvements in design to enhance the safety of garage doors in recent years," said Michael Christopherson of Monarch Doors, "the spring which assists the garage door opener in raising the door is still a highly injurious component. More people have died from spring-related injuries than all the other risks combined."

Even though the spring mechanism is simple in principle and the bolts that keep it in place look like ordinary bolts, the torque in those springs is deadly. Without the right tools and leverage, and the experience to work with garage door springs, the tension in those springs can send a tool flying at a great velocity.

Monarch Doors recommends a semiannual test be performed each spring and fall. It involves disconnecting the garage door from the opener and then trying to lift the door manually.

"If this is too difficult or too easy," continued Christopherson, "your springs need an adjustment and you need to call a professional with correct tools and training. Performing this simple test can prevent injury and the more costly repair of a broken spring. If you have a two car garage door, and one of the springs has already broken, this increases stress on the remaining spring and can be a real hazard."

Another consideration for the safety and security of a family is the outside doors of a home. For 20 years Bob French from Cottonwood Security has combined the functionality of storm doors with the security of making them a formidable barrier to entrance.

"Most burglaries these days are 'smash and grab' jobs. Alarm systems aren't much of a deterrent because the perpetrator is long gone by the time someone responds to the alarm," said French. "Breaking through one of our security doors can't be done with a swift kick to the door; it requires much more time, and the criminal will move on to an easier target. In fact, with my 20 years in the business, we haven't had a forced entry through one of our doors yet."

What may look like a typical storm door and provides all the benefits of a cheaper screen door, is actually the first line in defense. Even a solid door with a dead bolt lock is easier to break through than the security doors retailed by Cottonwood Security. The cost, of course, is a bit more than a run of the mill screen door, but what is the price on your family's security."

Visitors to the Deseret Morning News home show will have to opportunity to review a range of garage doors and security systems, including doors.