Lucille Garage Doors August 03rd, 2018 - 21:35:18
Garage doors can be operated manually (by hand) as well as automatically (by power assisted motor). In both cases the proper operation of the garage door is determined by the proper balancing of the garage door weight springs and related component hardware. An automatic power assisted motor cannot overcome an improperly balanced garage door. The weight of all garage doors is normally deceptive. Due to the fact that a properly functioning door appears easy to open and close many users do not realize the combined overall weight until springs fail to assist the door in its operation. In all cases regardless of the type of garage door the entire system of hinges track hardware and door opener work as a team. Problems with misalignment shifting or jamming can lead to problematic operation of a door. Counter forces imparted to a garage door not engineered into the components can lead to injury. Inappropriate maintenance or complete lack of maintenance has lead to severe bodily injuries. Forcing the operation of a garage door when one or more components have become damaged or broken has lead to serious bodily injuries. In all cases maintenance is a crucial and important aspect of proper operation of all door systems.
This story was published in the "Far North Dallas Advocate" magazine in the March 2011 issue. It had a happy ending but how easily it could have turned tragic. What if the wife had not awakened during the night? What if the husband did not have a rifle? What if the robber struggled with the husband and took his rifle away? A simple robbery could have easily turned into a homicide. Now ask yourself this: "What if that had been your home and your family that were threatened?"
In response to the inherently dangerous old style garage spring issues as above a newer and safer system for opening the overhead garage door was created. The idea was to transfer the load or weight of the door via a cable and pulley system to a vertical rod now equipped with a torsion (twisted) spring. This type of spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to a fixed plate at one end while the entire spring is installed around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing device is normally installed directly over the header of the garage opening. Using appropriate cables connectors and pulleys the weight of the garage door is transferred into the torsion spring system. The difference between the old style stretched spring and the newer torsion spring is the way that the spring energy is stored. With the old style stretched spring the energy is stored and released by pulling on the spring or returning the spring to its un-stretched condition.
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.