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Roller Garage Door – Safety

Previously I have talked about the different types of garage doors and their mechanics. Today I am going to talk about the control systems that are the brain boxes for these systems.

Up until a couple of years ago the garage door market had several different key companies supplying and installing garage doors. Control boxes were often unique to the individual companies. Some included battery backups and alarm systems as well as the standard remote controls.

Most of these systems relied on quite an old technology for the safety aspect of the doors. Infra red beams or photo cells. These little devices were generally sat about 1 ft up from the floor of the garage door, in the opening. They send an invisible infra red beam from one side of the garage door, to the other. If the beam is on anyway broken – i.e the car is in the opening of the garage or someone is standing under the door – the door will not close. If the garage door is closing and the beam is broken, perhaps a cat or child is walking into the garage, then the door will stop and reverse.

Some beams only used a single box on the one side of the door and reflector to reflect the beam back to the unit. In my opinion these were not as good as the sender and receiver style I was refferring to above.

In fact, if you have an old roller door that is stuck open then check you do not have an obstruction – even a spiders web or dust or dirt on the lense can prevent the garage door from closing as the garage door thinks something is in the way. Genreally a damp cloth will resolve this.

Now, I have been discussing this in past tense because a couple of years ago new regulations came into force. These rergulations meant that any roller garage door would now have to use a pressure sensing bottom rail strip on the final slat of the door. Whilst, in my opinion, this is totally unnecessary as the beams did a good enough job here – it is now the law. This created a huge problem for manufacturers as it meant that somehow the bottom slat of the door would have to be connected to the control box.

In teh past this has been achieved with a curly cable, mainly on industrial doors. Who would want these ugly cables in their garage? And what’s more they are problematic and are likely to get tangled and result in the garage door no longer being able to close – great for security!!!

Well it seems to me now there is one key manufacturer of a system that most garage door companies seem to be using. I am reluctant to mention their name on this blog but if you really wanted to find out then just google it. I have been trying to search for an alternative for some time but it would seem they are the only competition about – they really have cornered a market.

What makes their system different is that they use the safety edge bottom rail on their garage door systems. This has a transmitter on the bottom slat that communicates, wire free, with the garage door control unit. If you are buying a garage door in the UK then you will almost certainly have this type of system installed.

As great as it sounds – it still comes with issues of it’s own.

To be continued……………………..

8 Responses to “Roller Garage Door – Safety”

  • If the curly cable you mentioned is fitted half way up a closed door, then the cable should remain in good working order and not get caught up in the door. Check out the compact door on youtube, the one at DLS and Taws are not in the way and should last longer then the panels, that drivers love to hit..!

  • In addition to the mechanism used to hold the actual door up, the amount of tension required to reverse the downward direction of the door should be tested to ensure that it cannot injury a person or animal.

  • My garage door was pretty much ruined recently, but I’ve managed to fix it by using some weights to counter the springs and hold it open – DIY bodging at its best!

    Garage DIYs last blog post..Simple Home Security with Anti-Climb Paint

  • uPVC:

    to solve your problem why dont you make regular service of garage door, we always check when its have some problem, before than we never take care of it. Please make a note: Always oiling and clean your garage door track one time in a month.

  • This company that you speak of which has the “safety edge bottom rail on their garage door systems”, is not as good as you think they are. We have seen issues where this rail gets knocked off causing sever damage to the door.

  • I love how my garage door was been made so I take time in maintaining them. It pays off a lot.

  • We had a strange happening with our garage door one time. We have the infrared sensor at the bottom of the door. Anyway the door would start coming closed then all of the sudden head back up again. And there would be nothing that would be in the way of the beam. We joked about it as “our ghost” was there again. It did this quite a lot. So, I called a door company and they came out and replaced it. We have never had any further problems.

  • As much as we enjoy the convenience of garage door electronics, safety is still the most important factor.